We all know what happens when people start using supernatural forces to predict and prevent crimes, and we certainly don't want to go there. But software that predicts criminal behavior is already in effect in Baltimore and Philadelphia: while it won't send a SWAT team to a perp's door moments before shots are fired, it will algorithmically show which criminals are most likely to commit or be victims of certain crimes in the future. While the software is now being used to determine how closely parolees should be monitored for murder risk, law enforcement agents in D.C. are hoping to use it to detect the likelihood of lesser crimes as well. Forget all that gobbledygook about immigrants taking all our jobs--let's figure out a better way to keep algorithms from getting into the U.S. of A.

[Photo courtesy Bryan Babich]

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Criminal behavior prediction software to go live in D.C., Precogs union up in arms