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PaulRyckier
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PostSubject: Brave new world? Predictive policing   Brave new world? Predictive policing EmptySat 29 Dec 2018, 22:33

I read in a scientific Dutch language montly about Philip K. Dick and the already in reality application of one of his science-fictions...
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philip_K._Dick
https://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/films/features/precrime-film-documentary-minority-report-police-a8289576.html

From the link:
In Chicago, an algorithm has been created to predict its inhabitants’ potential involvement with violent crime, which creates a Strategic Subject List - known colloquially as the “heat list” - a comprehensive list of who it considers to be the most dangerous people in the city.
England is active in pre-crime too, with a predictive policing software known as PredPol being employed to predict areas where crimes may take place in order to deploy more officers to that area. Perhaps using data in order to identify crime hot spots and assign more police to those areas sounds like good, solid, preventative police work but, as the film explores, there are drawbacks. 
It is suggested that such pre-crime techniques can lead to major profiling, which reinforces pre-existing profiling issues such as race and socioeconomic status. For example, a young black man living in a certain postcode in Tottenham could be enough to align them with gang activity, despite any active involvement.  
Even association with someone who has committed or been the victim of a crime is enough to be detected, as Robert McDaniel found out when police officers turned up to his door warning him he was being watched and was on the “heat list”. McDaniel had never committed a violent crime, his only vices being smoking some weed and playing a little dice. And yet, he was deemed one of the most dangerous people in the city via this algorithm, which critics have used as an example of increased racial profiling by police.  
The documentary goes back and forth between critics and advocates of pre-crime techniques, exploring areas such as guilt by association and the idea of reversing the longstanding stance of innocent until proven guilty into presumed guilt. Regardless of the varying stances on pre-crime captured, the film’s overall message is that this is no longer a sci-fi-like vision of the future but it is already here and in use. Although as worryingly pointed out by one critic of this algorithmic and unpredictable future, “code has no conscience.”


https://www.theverge.com/2014/2/19/5419854/the-minority-report-this-computer-predicts-crime-but-is-it-racist

From the link:
"When the Chicago Police Department sent one of its commanders to Robert McDaniel’s home last summer, the 22-year-old high school dropout was surprised. Though he lived in a neighborhood well-known for bloodshed on its streets, he hadn’t committed a crime or interacted with a police officer recently. And he didn’t have a violent criminal record, nor any gun violations. In August, he incredulously told the Chicago Tribune, "I haven't done nothing that the next kid growing up hadn't done.” Yet, there stood the female police commander at his front door with a stern message: if you commit any crimes, there will be major consequences. We’re watching you.


What McDaniel didn’t know was that he had been placed on the city’s “heat list” — an index of the roughly 400 people in the city of Chicago supposedly most likely to be involved in violent crime. Inspired by a Yale sociologist’s studies and compiled using an algorithm created by an engineer at the Illinois Institute of Technology, the heat list is just one example of the experiments the CPD is conducting as it attempts to push policing into the 21st century.


Predictive analytical systems have been tested by police departments all over the country for years now, but there’s perhaps no urban police force that’s further along — or better funded — than the CPD in its quest to predict crime before it happens. As Commander Jonathan Lewin, who’s in charge of information technology for the CPD, told The Verge: “This [program] will become a national best practice. This will inform police departments around the country and around the world on how best to utilize predictive policing to solve problems. This is about saving lives.”


But the jury’s still out about whether Chicago’s heat list and its other predictive policing experiments are worth the invasions of privacy they might cause and the unfair profiling they could blatantly encourage. As Hanni Fakhoury, a staff attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, told The Verge: “My fear is that these programs are creating an environment where police can show up at anyone’s door at any time for any reason.”"

Kind regards from Paul.
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PostSubject: Re: Brave new world? Predictive policing   Brave new world? Predictive policing EmptySun 30 Dec 2018, 10:18

There was an American TV show a few years ago Person of Interest which featured a private citizen who called himself Finch (I don't think we ever knew what his real name was) who had a private computer which showed up "persons of interest".  Sometimes you didn't know if the "person" thrown up by the computer was a guilty or innocent party.  Finch was partially disabled but he had a sidekick with brawn (and brain) to assist him.  And there was another TV show Numbers where a cop had a brother who was a computer expert who helped him solve cases. Of course some of the things on TV police procedurals wouldn't happen in real life.  I suppose Silent Witness isn't exactly a police procedural but in real life pathologists do post-mortems, they don't query witnesses as is sometimes shown on SW.  There would definitely need to be a code of practice put in place (in my opinion - not that they are likely to take notice of me) if a real life watch all, see all, make predictions computer were to come into general use.  In the UK we already have quite a lot of CCTV.
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PostSubject: Re: Brave new world? Predictive policing   Brave new world? Predictive policing EmptySun 30 Dec 2018, 12:20

@PaulRyckier wrote:
the already in reality application

The idea of trying to predict criminal behaviour or pre-empt criminality is nothing new really. Rulers have been trying to do as much for centuries. As was mentioned on the Financial Scams and Scandals thread, the initial French colonisation of Louisiana and Canada in the 17th and 18th centuries was primarily achieved by incentivising members of the ‘criminal class’ - i.e. prisoners, prostitutes, orphans and vagrants etc.

The British colonies in North America were also in part colonised with transported criminals. In fact it was the independence of 13 of them in 1783 which was one of the spurs for the beginning of British colonisation of Australia that same decade. Needless to say that Australia became a by-word for the concept of transportation during the 19th century. Transportation as a punishment was officially abolished in 1857 but a loop-hole in the law meant that offenders could still be sentenced to ‘penal servitude’ and if the location of the penal institution happened to be in Australia then so be it. Thus transportation continued under another name for 11 more years until 1868. Yet the story didn’t end there. The UK government was still shipping orphans and other unwanted children to Australia in the second half of the 20th century right up until the 1970s – i.e. over 100 years after the abolition of transportation.
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PostSubject: Re: Brave new world? Predictive policing   Brave new world? Predictive policing EmptySun 30 Dec 2018, 23:26

@Vizzer wrote:
@PaulRyckier wrote:
the already in reality application

The idea of trying to predict criminal behaviour or pre-empt criminality is nothing new really. Rulers have been trying to do as much for centuries. As was mentioned on the Financial Scams and Scandals thread, the initial French colonisation of Louisiana and Canada in the 17th and 18th centuries was primarily achieved by incentivising members of the ‘criminal class’ - i.e. prisoners, prostitutes, orphans and vagrants etc.

The British colonies in North America were also in part colonised with transported criminals. In fact it was the independence of 13 of them in 1783 which was one of the spurs for the beginning of British colonisation of Australia that same decade. Needless to say that Australia became a by-word for the concept of transportation during the 19th century. Transportation as a punishment was officially abolished in 1857 but a loop-hole in the law meant that offenders could still be sentenced to ‘penal servitude’ and if the location of the penal institution happened to be in Australia then so be it. Thus transportation continued under another name for 11 more years until 1868. Yet the story didn’t end there. The UK government was still shipping orphans and other unwanted children to Australia in the second half of the 20th century right up until the 1970s – i.e. over 100 years after the abolition of transportation.


Vizzer,

excuses, lost some time on the Passion Histoire with a China question...

Yes I remember the thread with the Louisiana bubble and the Law system in France...

"The British colonies in North America were also in part colonised with transported criminals. In fact it was the independence of 13 of them in 1783 which was one of the spurs for the beginning of British colonisation of Australia that same decade. Needless to say that Australia became a by-word for the concept of transportation during the 19th century. Transportation as a punishment was officially abolished in 1857 but a loop-hole in the law meant that offenders could still be sentenced to ‘penal servitude’ and if the location of the penal institution happened to be in Australia then so be it. Thus transportation continued under another name for 11 more years until 1868. Yet the story didn’t end there. The UK government was still shipping orphans and other unwanted children to Australia in the second half of the 20th century right up until the 1970s – i.e. over 100 years after the abolition of transportation."

Yes I did a whole study for some board, starting with the book of McCullough: Morgan's Run which describes the colonisation of Norfolk Island with convicts...
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colleen_McCullough
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/3420.Morgan_s_Run
http://members.optusnet.com.au/davieskg/morgan
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_British_prison_hulks
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_Fleet


Kind regards from Paul.
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PostSubject: Re: Brave new world? Predictive policing   Brave new world? Predictive policing EmptyMon 31 Dec 2018, 14:37

Isn't this modern algorithmic profiling somewhat similar in essence to the old idea of physiognomy - the belief that by studying a person's physical appearance one could determine their personality and even morality? This was a respected and common theory, even paractice, amongst 18th and 19th century criminalogists, who hoped that by studying faces they could pinpoint a 'criminal look' and so identify potential law breakers ... perhaps even before they committed a crime.

The idea that one can get insight into someone's character from their appearance is certainly very old and crops up repeatedly in literature (eg Shakespeare's depiction of Richard III - his "twisted" body reflecting a twisted and malicious nature), but modern physiognomy became a 'science' in the field of criminology largely through efforts made by the 19th century Italian army doctor and scientist, Cesare Lombroso. He took inspiration from the recently released books of Darwin; 'Origin of Species' and 'The Descent of Man', and then, misunderstanding much of what Darwin had written abour his theory of evolution, Lombroso nevertheless developed some of it into his own ideas on the use of physiognomy in criminology. His logic was based on the idea that "criminals were 'throwbacks' in the phylogenetic tree to early phases of evolution".

Lombroso's interest in the relationship between criminology and physiognomy began with his interaction with a notorious Calabrian thief and arsonist, named Giuseppe Villella, who struck Lombroso with his many striking personality characteristics such as mental agility and extreme cynicism. Upon Villella's death, Lombroso conducted a post-mortem and discovered that his subject "had an indentation at the back of his skull, which resembled that found in apes".  Lombroso used the term "atavism" to describe these primitive, ape-like behaviors that he subsequently found in many of those whom he deemed prone to criminality. Comparing these results with other criminal cases he inferred that certain physical characteristics allowed for some individuals to have a greater "propensity to offend and were also savage throwbacks to early man". Accordingly he believed that one could determine whether someone was of savage nature just by their physical characteristics, and hence that "criminality was inherited and that criminals could be identified by physical attributes". Lombroso proposed that the "born criminal" could be distinguished by physical 'atavistic' features, such as:

large jaws, forward projection of jaw,
low sloping forehead,
high cheekbones,
flattened or upturned nose,
handle-shaped ears,
hawk-like noses or fleshy lips,
hard shifty eyes,
scanty beard or baldness,
insensitivity to pain,
long arms relative to lower limbs

Physiognomy also had a direct link to the development and increasing use of police 'mug shots' in the late 19th century. Sir Frances Galton (1822-1911), who is best known for his innovations in the science of fingerprinting, studied the potential of police photographs taken of arrested persons, to reveal the 'look' of criminality. He layered mug shots of certain types of criminals (such as smugglers, thieves, arsonists, etc.) into composite photographs. He hoped that by combining their faces - as an analogue algorithm as it were - he would be able to identify facial features that indicated criminal tendencies. His ideas gained considrable support in Victorian Britain, especially amongst the police, judiciary and the 'establishment' generally.

The ideas were still circulating in the early 20th century, such as these examples taken from 'Vaught’s Practical Character Reader' (first published in 1902 by Emily H. Vaught) which again clearly incorporated elements of Lombroso's "atavistic" theory. Vaught's book appears to be aimed at a more popular, non-professional audience, and indeed it is at about this time that physiognomy was being increasingly discredited as nothing more than unreliable pseudoscience.

Brave new world? Predictive policing Vaught-2      Brave new world? Predictive policing Vaught-3

Brave new world? Predictive policing Vaught-1

Although widely discredited in the early 20th century, physiognomy certainly experienced a resurgence in the 1930s and 40s, particularly under the Nazi's and their 'scientific' program of racial profiling and eugenics. And even these days there are those that claim to be able to get great insight into someones character from just their fingerprints or handwriting.


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PostSubject: Re: Brave new world? Predictive policing   Brave new world? Predictive policing EmptyMon 31 Dec 2018, 17:17

I remember there being something of a (retrospective) scandal about the children being sent abroad, Vizzer.  The book Empty Cradles by Margaret Humphreys treated the subject.

MM's reference to physiognomy made me think about phrenology (I guess there is some overlap.  It had been debunked by the time I was a child but I remember people used to talk jokingly about "reading the bumps on your head"  www.victorianweb.org/science/phrenology/intro.html

Unfortunately, what MM states about people using pseudo-science to discern information about people is true. When I went down the wild and whacky side of YouTube there were people who were claiming to be able to discern whether women were secret transgenders because of the length of their fingers and the ratio to other fingers.  I suppose they were seeing what they wanted to see - the linked article from the Daily Fail more than 10 years ago was saying that the ratio thing could indicate sexual orientation and not so much what gender a person was - but that it wasn't foolproof.  Of course, we don't know how exhaustive (i.e. what percentage of the population were examined in the survey - or what mixture of races).
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/.../article.../Length-ring-index-fingers-reveal-sexuality.html

I'd heard that some firms used handwriting experts to look at application forms when selecting candidates for interview but that could be as much of an urban myth as the back to front rainbows in the southern hemisphere.
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PostSubject: Re: Brave new world? Predictive policing   Brave new world? Predictive policing EmptyMon 31 Dec 2018, 18:47

@LadyinRetirement wrote:
Unfortunately, what MM states about people using pseudo-science to discern information about people is true. When I went down the wild and whacky side of YouTube there were people who were claiming to be able to discern whether women were secret transgenders because of the length of their fingers and the ratio to other fingers.  I suppose they were seeing what they wanted to see - the linked article from the Daily Fail more than 10 years ago was saying that the ratio thing could indicate sexual orientation and not so much what gender a person was - but that it wasn't foolproof. 

But that is not "wild and wacky" - at least not according to the original study conducted by scientists at the University of Essex - as opposed to the populist garbage spouted by the 'Daily Mail'. Yes, there does seem to be a statistical link (at least from the limited sample of 18 pairs of identical female twins and 14 pairs of male identical twins) between the length of the middle finger and one's declared sexuality as an adult. This was an incidental conclusion from the original study (about the genetic influence of development in the womb after conception) and is  simliar to other known statistical correlations, such as the increased predisposition towards male homosexuality being linked to the number of older brothers one had. But as ever the key words throughout are that it is a statistical correlation only ..... but as ever the truth is in the detail, and not the click-bait, attention-grabbing headlines of the popular press.


Finger Length Ratios of Identical Twins with Discordant Sexual Orientations
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PostSubject: Re: Brave new world? Predictive policing   Brave new world? Predictive policing EmptyMon 31 Dec 2018, 19:59

You are correct of course, MM, sometimes legitimate study is taken out of context.  [Edited because what I had previously entered was somewhat frivolous].


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PostSubject: Re: Brave new world? Predictive policing   Brave new world? Predictive policing EmptyMon 31 Dec 2018, 20:20

Getting back on track with the subject of this thread, last month's Torygraph had an article about Kent police stopping using predictive programming.  [url=https://www.telegraph.co.uk %E2%80%BA Technology Intelligence]https://www.telegraph.co.uk › Technology Intelligence[/url]  There was an interesting article on the Smithsonian site but I couldn't copy it over because the link truncated - whenever I come across a link ending ... I can't copy it.  Sorry folks, even copying this doesn't work. If you want to see the article you will have to type the full link in - when I am in editing mode "Technology Intelligence" appears to be part of the link but when I post it it shows up "greyed out" and the link just brings you to the home page of the Telegraph.
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PostSubject: Re: Brave new world? Predictive policing   Brave new world? Predictive policing EmptyMon 31 Dec 2018, 21:36

A video where a professor explains the science behind predictive programming.  I had to firtle around a bit to get this though because my first search brought up loads of conspiracy type stuff... (searching on "predictive programming").  When I searched on "police predictive programming" I got something more sensible.  
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PostSubject: Re: Brave new world? Predictive policing   Brave new world? Predictive policing EmptyTue 01 Jan 2019, 22:45

@Meles meles wrote:
Isn't this modern algorithmic profiling somewhat similar in essence to the old idea of physiognomy - the belief that by studying a person's physical appearance one could determine their personality and even morality? This was a respected and common theory, even paractice, amongst 18th and 19th century criminalogists, who hoped that by studying faces they could pinpoint a 'criminal look' and so identify potential law breakers ... perhaps even before they committed a crime.

The idea that one can get insight into someone's character from their appearance is certainly very old and crops up repeatedly in literature (eg Shakespeare's depiction of Richard III - his "twisted" body reflecting a twisted and malicious nature), but modern physiognomy became a 'science' in the field of criminology largely through efforts made by the 19th century Italian army doctor and scientist, Cesare Lombroso. He took inspiration from the recently released books of Darwin; 'Origin of Species' and 'The Descent of Man', and then, misunderstanding much of what Darwin had written abour his theory of evolution, Lombroso nevertheless developed some of it into his own ideas on the use of physiognomy in criminology. His logic was based on the idea that "criminals were 'throwbacks' in the phylogenetic tree to early phases of evolution".

Lombroso's interest in the relationship between criminology and physiognomy began with his interaction with a notorious Calabrian thief and arsonist, named Giuseppe Villella, who struck Lombroso with his many striking personality characteristics such as mental agility and extreme cynicism. Upon Villella's death, Lombroso conducted a post-mortem and discovered that his subject "had an indentation at the back of his skull, which resembled that found in apes".  Lombroso used the term "atavism" to describe these primitive, ape-like behaviors that he subsequently found in many of those whom he deemed prone to criminality. Comparing these results with other criminal cases he inferred that certain physical characteristics allowed for some individuals to have a greater "propensity to offend and were also savage throwbacks to early man". Accordingly he believed that one could determine whether someone was of savage nature just by their physical characteristics, and hence that "criminality was inherited and that criminals could be identified by physical attributes". Lombroso proposed that the "born criminal" could be distinguished by physical 'atavistic' features, such as:

large jaws, forward projection of jaw,
low sloping forehead,
high cheekbones,
flattened or upturned nose,
handle-shaped ears,
hawk-like noses or fleshy lips,
hard shifty eyes,
scanty beard or baldness,
insensitivity to pain,
long arms relative to lower limbs

Physiognomy also had a direct link to the development and increasing use of police 'mug shots' in the late 19th century. Sir Frances Galton (1822-1911), who is best known for his innovations in the science of fingerprinting, studied the potential of police photographs taken of arrested persons, to reveal the 'look' of criminality. He layered mug shots of certain types of criminals (such as smugglers, thieves, arsonists, etc.) into composite photographs. He hoped that by combining their faces - as an analogue algorithm as it were - he would be able to identify facial features that indicated criminal tendencies. His ideas gained considrable support in Victorian Britain, especially amongst the police, judiciary and the 'establishment' generally.

The ideas were still circulating in the early 20th century, such as these examples taken from 'Vaught’s Practical Character Reader' (first published in 1902 by Emily H. Vaught) which again clearly incorporated elements of Lombroso's "atavistic" theory. Vaught's book appears to be aimed at a more popular, non-professional audience, and indeed it is at about this time that physiognomy was being increasingly discredited as nothing more than unreliable pseudoscience

Although widely discredited in the early 20th century, physiognomy certainly experienced a resurgence in the 1930s and 40s, particularly under the Nazi's and their 'scientific' program of racial profiling and eugenics. And even these days there are those that claim to be able to get great insight into someones character from just their fingerprints or handwriting.

Meles meles,

not only about physiognomy, but also about form of skulls related to predicting behaviour and intelligence...
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Craniometry
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Georges_Vacher_de_Lapouge
https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/02757200802654258?src=recsys&journalCode=ghan20


Kind regards from Paul.
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PostSubject: Re: Brave new world? Predictive policing   Brave new world? Predictive policing EmptyTue 01 Jan 2019, 23:04

@LadyinRetirement wrote:
Getting back on track with the subject of this thread, last month's Torygraph had an article about Kent police stopping using predictive programming.  [url=https://www.telegraph.co.uk %E2%80%BA Technology Intelligence]https://www.telegraph.co.uk › Technology Intelligence[/url]  There was an interesting article on the Smithsonian site but I couldn't copy it over because the link truncated - whenever I come across a link ending ... I can't copy it.  Sorry folks, even copying this doesn't work. If you want to see the article you will have to type the full link in - when I am in editing mode "Technology Intelligence" appears to be part of the link but when I post it it shows up "greyed out" and the link just brings you to the home page of the Telegraph.


Lady,

I tried to find and reconstruct your link, but didn't find it. But I found this:
in a time that Cambridge analytica seems to have influenced the Trump election and the poll about the Brexit, there is new stuff on the market to influence polls and politics even more:
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/2018/10/27/tech-threatens-democracy-funding-uk-taxpayers/

And I just saw on a Dutch language television this evening a documentary about instagram and followers to become a celebrity in the school (even 15 years old used the international network fro a Dutch speaking provider with a mask on and a masked voice) as fashion starters, as politicians. Saw even a Russian, who made no hidden messages to the reporter, just full face, a Russian lady like you who had an earning from it. And it is the same with facebook and other such media. Will do research about it to see what I can find in English.

If we here with our board become celebrities, it will be in fact real without fake followers Wink,   at least I suppose, while after what I just saw in the documentary, one is never sure anymore .

Kind regards from Paul.
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PostSubject: Re: Brave new world? Predictive policing   Brave new world? Predictive policing EmptyWed 02 Jan 2019, 09:43

Well of course I suppose it would be possible to live without the internet and mobile phones but they are useful tools and the "cookies" set on our computers by search engines keep a track of what we search (says she stating the obvious).  I think that is to push adverts rather than police us.
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PostSubject: Re: Brave new world? Predictive policing   Brave new world? Predictive policing EmptyThu 03 Jan 2019, 19:54

@LadyinRetirement wrote:
Well of course I suppose it would be possible to live without the internet and mobile phones but they are useful tools and the "cookies" set on our computers by search engines keep a track of what we search (says she stating the obvious).  I think that is to push adverts rather than police us.

Lady,

"I think that is to push adverts rather than police us."

Perhaps not explicitely police us, but by watching our preferences making a psychological model of each of us, and using that model for advertising goals, but as much for political purposes, see Cambridge analitica...

Also about the likes you can buy to make a celebrity of you...in the last municipals here in Belgium, our honest Christian-Democrats had one in their promoting team, who had bought "likes" (and as I mentioned from the reportage it is with ten thousands each time) and was put in clear daylight when some clever political watcher saw that suddenly there were thousands of likes from the "Indian" continent...Lucky the promotor had bought it from an "official" firm and the party asked for indemnisation from that firm, ten thousands of Euros for image damage...but of course that damage was done in their campaign...

I read today about some psychologist saying (smiling) that with an older man physiognomy entering a big shop, the cameras had analyzed him and the light advertisment suddenly changed to advert neccesities for an older man with reduction...perhaps when I enter a magasin in the future, the cameras will follow my eyes looking to a beautiful girl and hence guide me to...

Kind regards from Paul.
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PostSubject: Re: Brave new world? Predictive policing   Brave new world? Predictive policing EmptySat 05 Jan 2019, 19:47

@Meles meles wrote:
Isn't this modern algorithmic profiling somewhat similar in essence to the old idea of physiognomy - the belief that by studying a person's physical appearance one could determine their personality and even morality? This was a respected and common theory, even paractice, amongst 18th and 19th century criminalogists, who hoped that by studying faces they could pinpoint a 'criminal look' and so identify potential law breakers ... perhaps even before they committed a crime.

Neither was it just physical appearance which was used in attempting to identify potential law breakers. Geography also played a part.

It is often forgotten (perhaps because he was indeed assassinated in 1865) that a major plot to murder Abraham Lincoln was foiled when when he was U.S. president-elect in early 1861. The was by the Pinkerton Detective Agency which had identified the border states as being where just such a plot might originate. The border states were slave states which nevertheless remained in the Union. Of these it was the State of Maryland which the Pinkerton Agency had highlighted as presenting the highest risk in this respect as it was the border state directly adjacent to Washington D.C. Accordingly Pinkerton dispatched newly-recruited agent Kate Warne to impersonate a southern belle and spy upon secessionist meetings in the state. Going deep undercover she learned of a plot to assassinate Lincoln as he travelled thru Baltimore on his way to his inauguration in the capital. With only minor alterations to his itinerary, Lincoln's security staff were able to avoid the location where the attack was to have taken place and thus thwart the plotters.
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Res Historica History Forum :: The history of people ... :: Civilisation and Community-