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The Algorithm is Going to Get You: Should We Fear the Rise of Artificial Intelligence in Criminal Justice?

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With the use of artificial intelligence techniques increasingly prominent in public discourse, there have been several recent examples of the media focussing attention on the use of algorithms in criminal justice settings. The prevailing sentiment of these pieces has been one of strong caution. A typical consumer of these stories may be left with the sense that algorithms can only lead to at best, a biased outcome and that it would be far better to leave practitioners to their own professional judgements. In this talk I will expand on this important debate in detail, with specific references to my experiences of working with machine-learning techniques in criminal justice forecasts in domestic abuse cases, reoffending and case solvability. My discussion will be mostly non-technical but I draw on practical examples of the use of these methods to illustrate issues around ethics, bias and implementation.

This talk is part of the Cambridge Statistics Discussion Group (CSDG) series.

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