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Old 05-01-2017, 04:02 PM #1
DocTim420
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Sent to Prison by a Software Programís Secret Algorithms

This is a fucking slippery slope--what's next? Artificial intelligence replacing juries?

Source: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/01/u...thms.html?_r=0

Sent to Prison by a Software Program’s Secret Algorithms

When Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. visited Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute last month, he was asked a startling question, one with overtones of science fiction.

“Can you foresee a day,” asked Shirley Ann Jackson, president of the college in upstate New York, “when smart machines, driven with artificial intelligences, will assist with courtroom fact-finding or, more controversially even, judicial decision-making?”

The chief justice’s answer was more surprising than the question. “It’s a day that’s here,” he said, “and it’s putting a significant strain on how the judiciary goes about doing things.”

He may have been thinking about the case of a Wisconsin man, Eric L. Loomis, who was sentenced to six years in prison based in part on a private company’s proprietary software. Mr. Loomis says his right to due process was violated by a judge’s consideration of a report generated by the software’s secret algorithm, one Mr. Loomis was unable to inspect or challenge.

In March, in a signal that the justices were intrigued by Mr. Loomis’s case, they asked the federal government to file a friend-of-the-court brief offering its views on whether the court should hear his appeal.

The report in Mr. Loomis’s case was produced by a product called Compas, sold by Northpointe Inc. It included a series of bar charts that assessed the risk that Mr. Loomis would commit more crimes.

The Compas report, a prosecutor told the trial judge, showed “a high risk of violence, high risk of recidivism, high pretrial risk.” The judge agreed, telling Mr. Loomis that “you’re identified, through the Compas assessment, as an individual who is a high risk to the community.”

The Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled against Mr. Loomis. The report added valuable information, it said, and Mr. Loomis would have gotten the same sentence based solely on the usual factors, including his crime — fleeing the police in a car — and his criminal history.

At the same time, the court seemed uneasy with using a secret algorithm to send a man to prison. Justice Ann Walsh Bradley, writing for the court, discussed, for instance, a report from ProPublica about Compas that concluded that black defendants in Broward County, Fla., “were far more likely than white defendants to be incorrectly judged to be at a higher rate of recidivism.

Justice Bradley noted that Northpointe had disputed the analysis. Still, she wrote, “this study and others raise concerns regarding how a Compas assessment’s risk factors correlate with race.”

In the end, though, Justice Bradley allowed sentencing judges to use Compas. They must take account of the algorithm’s limitations and the secrecy surrounding it, she wrote, but said the software could be helpful “in providing the sentencing court with as much information as possible in order to arrive at an individualized sentence.”

Justice Bradley made Compas’s role in sentencing sound like the consideration of race in a selective university’s holistic admissions program. It could be one factor among many, she wrote, but not the determinative one.

In urging the United States Supreme Court not to hear the case, Wisconsin’s attorney general, Brad D. Schimel, seemed to acknowledge that the questions in the case were substantial ones. But he said the justices should not move too fast.

“The use of risk assessments by sentencing courts is a novel issue, which needs time for further percolation,” Mr. Schimel wrote.

He added that Mr. Loomis “was free to question the assessment and explain its possible flaws.” But it is a little hard to see how he could do that without access to the algorithm itself.

The company that markets Compas says its formula is a trade secret.

“The key to our product is the algorithms, and they’re proprietary,” one of its executives said last year. “We’ve created them, and we don’t release them because it’s certainly a core piece of our business.”

Compas and other products with similar algorithms play a role in many states’ criminal justice systems. “These proprietary techniques are used to set bail, determine sentences, and even contribute to determinations about guilt or innocence,” a report from the Electronic Privacy Information Center found. “Yet the inner workings of these tools are largely hidden from public view.”

In 1977, the Supreme Court ruled that a Florida man could not be condemned to die based on a sentencing report that contained confidential passages he was not allowed to see. The Supreme Court’s decision was fractured, and the controlling opinion appeared to say that the principle applied only in capital cases.

Mr. Schimel echoed that point and added that Mr. Loomis knew everything the court knew. Judges do not have access to the algorithm, either, he wrote.

There are good reasons to use data to ensure uniformity in sentencing. It is less clear that uniformity must come at the price of secrecy, particularly when the justification for secrecy is the protection of a private company’s profits. The government can surely develop its own algorithms and allow defense lawyers to evaluate them.

At Rensselaer last month, Chief Justice Roberts said that judges had work to do in an era of rapid change.

“The impact of technology has been across the board,” he said, “and we haven’t yet really absorbed how it’s going to change the way we do business.”


What happens if there is in error in the algorithm?
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Old 05-01-2017, 07:12 PM #2
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Red face

"what happens if there is an error in the algorithm?" simple...you go to directly to jail & do NOT collect $200, just like if they let actual morons on a jury decide your fate.
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Old 05-01-2017, 09:09 PM #3
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It seems like an awful lot of American "justice" is dedicated to concocting pseudo information that can be used to railroad a jury towards a desired outcome.


I'm always amazed at TV cop shows "ballistics science".

Have they never heard of the 19th century invention of interchangeable identical parts ?

The TV shows present "ballistics" as "this bullet matches this barrel".

but none of the other barrels - with the same rifling - on all the other models of that gun ?

The same bullet fired from any one of the hundreds of thousands of firearms made during a normal firearm product life-time, will match most, or maybe all, of the firearms from that production run.

It can't be tied to just one firearm.


ALSO, the bullet is usually highly deformed by the act of being shot into a person or background object.

Any other piece of evidence that was so deformed would be suspect - or thrown out.

They present bullets that have been metal worked by the path they took through a shooting victim ... as if those bullets had been fired into gelatin.


MORAL OF THE STORY -
Ballistics is a very weak leg of the evidentiary pseudo science used to convict people in the USA.

Software and/or bullet ballistics - both are used to tell lies in the American "justice" system.
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Old 05-01-2017, 09:44 PM #4
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America, your completely fucked up
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Old 05-02-2017, 03:21 PM #5
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America, your completely fucked up
Yeah...I agree, we are all fucked up. But of all the fucked up places to live (and I have visited many foreign countries), I will still pick fucked up USA. Not "utopia" but definitely not "3rd world"
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Old 05-02-2017, 04:50 PM #6
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Old 05-02-2017, 05:19 PM #7
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Barrels may be interchangeable but the lands and grooves of any given barrel engrave individual characteristics on a bullet. Like a fingerprint, none are the same. Microscopic analysis proves that. Different manufacturers use different rifling patterns, numbers of lands and grooves, width, etc. Yes, the rifling profile may be the same in every barrel but the microscopic scratches within the rifling that are then engraved into the bullet when fired are always individually identifiable.

Bullets are not always destroyed when fired. Many bullets can be recovered and analyzed after being fired and I have personally recovered bullets in such good condition after being fired that they look like they could be used again. Bodies are relatively "soft" and depending on the bullet's manufacture, velocity, mass and degree of hardness a bullet will not deform to the point of being unidentifiable. Bullets can be identified even after hitting hard objects as long as they are not destroyed. Go to any outdoor shooting range and look for some spent bullets in the backstop. You will find many, even soft lead bullets that look like they could be used again. All displaying the engraving imprinted on them by the barrel when fired. A spent bullet can tell you several things. Who made it, what caliber it is, and even the type and manufacture of the firearm used to fire it.

Even spent brass casings can reveal information as to what type of firearm was used. The chambers of firearms mark the casings with identifiable markings, No two chambers are alike, never mind the rifling. On top of that, even the firing pin can reveal information. Each manufacturer uses different configurations. Glock vs. S&W vs. Ruger etc.

The only way you could avoid some of these indicators would be to use a smooth barreled firearm like a muzzle loader that leaves behind no spent cases and uses a round lead ball . No case, no rifling. Even in that scenario if the bullet can be recovered at least the caliber could be determined by the bullet's diameter and weight.


Quote:
Originally Posted by St. Phatty View Post
It seems like an awful lot of American "justice" is dedicated to concocting pseudo information that can be used to railroad a jury towards a desired outcome.


I'm always amazed at TV cop shows "ballistics science".

Have they never heard of the 19th century invention of interchangeable identical parts ?

The TV shows present "ballistics" as "this bullet matches this barrel".

but none of the other barrels - with the same rifling - on all the other models of that gun ?

The same bullet fired from any one of the hundreds of thousands of firearms made during a normal firearm product life-time, will match most, or maybe all, of the firearms from that production run.

It can't be tied to just one firearm.


ALSO, the bullet is usually highly deformed by the act of being shot into a person or background object.

Any other piece of evidence that was so deformed would be suspect - or thrown out.

They present bullets that have been metal worked by the path they took through a shooting victim ... as if those bullets had been fired into gelatin.


MORAL OF THE STORY -
Ballistics is a very weak leg of the evidentiary pseudo science used to convict people in the USA.

Software and/or bullet ballistics - both are used to tell lies in the American "justice" system.
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Old 05-02-2017, 06:35 PM #8
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What a piece of shit judge! We living in minority report now?
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Old 05-02-2017, 07:53 PM #9
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This would fall under the category of don't talk to the cops. I can't imagine how people think answering a psychological questionnaire, or talking to the cops shrink would be a good idea. I recently took a test for a job, and I can't even guess what the computer scored it by. I passed it, but the questions were pointless; it is scary to think they are applying this type of 'voodoo psychology' to locking people up. This shit isn't new, in another life I had to hold a security clearance, you should have seen the thousand or so questions that you had to answer for the psych eval. But at least the question for the psych eval, seemed to have a point to them.
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Old 05-02-2017, 08:45 PM #10
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It comes own to that judge being a bitch. She isn't have to sign shit. If i was. Judge i would laugh in the prosecutors face and tell them to find case with real evidence. Obviously there's an agenda here. I hope that guy gets a real lawyer and appeals the fuck out ta this. I was gonna call fake story then i saw Florida and oh right. Florida gonna Florida
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