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posted by Fnord666 on Wednesday February 19 2020, @02:19PM   Printer-friendly
from the revolving-door dept.

Algorithms 'consistently' more accurate than people in predicting recidivism, study says:

In a study with potentially far-reaching implications for criminal justice in the United States, a team of California researchers has found that algorithms are significantly more accurate than humans in predicting which defendants will later be arrested for a new crime.

[...] "Risk assessment has long been a part of decision-making in the criminal justice system," said Jennifer Skeem, a psychologist who specializes in criminal justice at UC Berkeley. "Although recent debate has raised important questions about algorithm-based tools, our research shows that in contexts resembling real criminal justice settings, risk assessments are often more accurate than human judgment in predicting recidivism. That's consistent with a long line of research comparing humans to statistical tools."

"Validated risk-assessment instruments can help justice professionals make more informed decisions," said Sharad Goel, a computational social scientist at Stanford University. "For example, these tools can help judges identify and potentially release people who pose little risk to public safety. But, like any tools, risk assessment instruments must be coupled with sound policy and human oversight to support fair and effective criminal justice reform."

The paper—"The limits of human predictions of recidivism"—was slated for publication Feb. 14, 2020, in Science Advances. Skeem presented the research on Feb. 13 in a news briefing at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in Seattle, Wash. Joining her were two co-authors: Ph.D. graduate Jongbin Jung and Ph.D. candidate Zhiyuan "Jerry" Lin, who both studied computational social science at Stanford.

More information:
Z. Lin, et al. The limits of human predictions of recidivism [open], Science Advances (DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aaz0652)

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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 20 2020, @07:01AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 20 2020, @07:01AM (#960220)

    I fully agree with you that any moral system with longevity is based on something more than just feels.

    And yet that's what all of them are ultimately based on anyway, even if they try to claim otherwise: Subjective values.