Did A Computer Predict A Mugging?

from the broken-clock-is-correct-twice-a-day dept

Mike Elgan has an amusing Minority Report-style post suggesting that a police computer predicted a mugging. The details are a little less exciting however. It wasn’t necessarily the computer that did anything. It looks like a police officer using the computer, suggested that police pay extra attention to a certain area over a certain time frame, as it seemed likely there would be a mugging — but it’s not clear what went into that recommendation. Had their been muggings in the same spot in the same timeframe the three previous nights? If so, then it doesn’t take much pattern recognition to work that out. At the same time, how often has the police officer and his computer recommended police on the street pay attention in specific areas and there was no crime then committed? This could have just been a lucky guess. It seems we’re still quite a long way away from any Minority Report style situations.

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