Session: “TECHNOLOGICAL DISRUPTION AND THE BACKFIRE OBJECTION TO PREDICTIVE POLICING”

01 Nov 2019
16:20 - 17:50
CARSON CENTER FOR EMERGING MEDIA ARTS,
UNIVERSITY OF NEBRASKA-LINCOLN
1300 Q Street, Lincoln, NE 68588

Session: “TECHNOLOGICAL DISRUPTION AND THE BACKFIRE OBJECTION TO PREDICTIVE POLICING”

Predictive policing is the practice of using artificial intelligence to predict the timing, location, or perpetrator of future crimes. The objections to predictive policing most commonly involve the claim that it is biased, i.e. that it is a technologically-disguised version of racial profiling. However, police departments using predictive methods such as these have also shown promising results in some cases. In this paper, I propose a new objection to predictive policing that does not depend on its accuracy or bias. In fact, I will suppose (1) that there is nothing intrinsically wrong with using predictive policing methods; that (2) predictive policing methods are no more biased than other methods of policing and may even reduce the amount of bias in police operations; and that (3) predictive policing could lead to reduced crime in some situations. Still, I will argue, a policy of using predictive policing could be morally flawed because it erodes public trust in a way that, in the long run, can undermine cooperation between police and communities and cause other impediments that hinder the functioning of the criminal justice system.