1 posts
Predictive policing algorithms used secretly in New Orleans

Speaking of surveillance cities, Ali Winston for The Verge reports on the relationship between Palantir and New Orleans Police Department. They used predictive policing, which is loaded with social and statistical considerations, under the guise of philanthropy. Palantir gained access to personal records: In January 2013, New Orleans would also allow Palantir to use its law enforcement account for LexisNexis’ Accurint product, which is comprised of millions of searchable public...

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Bias built in to crime prediction

Predictive policing seems to be playing a bigger role in court decisions these days. People charged with crimes can be given a risk score based on priors and their background, which represents a fuzzy likelihood that they commit a crime again. ProPublica investigates the reliability of these scores, using data from Broward County, Flordia, between 2013 and 2014 The score proved remarkably unreliable in forecasting violent crime: Only 20 percent...

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Sunset quality forecasting

Forget temperature and rain weather forecasts. I want to know when the sunset will look really good in a picture. Good thing SunsetWx now exists. It predicts "sunset quality" based on a mix of meteorlogical factors. [A]s a landscape photographer, there are certain variables I look for each evening before making the decision to take time out of my day and photograph the sunset. The most important factor I look...

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NBA player career projections

As the NBA basketball season gets started, FiveThirtyEight has their player projections for how much each will contribute to their team not just this year but in future seasons. The system is called CARMELO. It stands for Career-Arc Regression Model Estimator with Local Optimization but mostly an excuse to name it CARMELO. Nate Silver describes how they produced the projections and its similarities to his work in 2003 with baseball...

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Predicting who needs a working fire alarm

In 2014, five people died in New Orleans in a house fire. Three of them were children. There was no working smoke alarm. So the city analytics team and New York-based data group Enigma developed a model to predict which blocks in the city were at high risk. If the city knew the areas that tended not to have smoke alarms, they could allocate resources appropriately to assure more people...

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Gender prediction through trivia performance

Todd Schneider likes trivia, and he plays in an online league called LearnedLeague. Curious, Schneider wondered if there was anything interesting he could glean from the performance of the LLamas (Learned League members) that might apply to knowledge in general. He looked at it from two angles. In the first, he simply calculated correlation coefficients between subjects. If you know world history, are you more likely to know geography? Yes....

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