Of prediction and policy: robot judges ?

“Bail decisions, in which judges estimate the risk of a prisoner fleeing or offending before trial, seem particularly ripe for help. Jens Ludwig of the University of Chicago and his colleagues claim that their algorithm, tested on a sample of past cases, would have yielded around 20% less crime (see chart), while leaving the number of releases unchanged. A similar reduction nationwide, they suggest, would require an extra 20,000 police officers at a cost of $2.6 billion. The White House is taking notice. Better bail decisions are a big priority of its Data-Driven Justice Initiative, which 67 states, cities and counties signed in June.

Still, people want to know how decisions that affect them are made. The European Union is considering giving citizens affected by algorithmic decisions the right to an explanation. “Transparency, transparency, transparency” is needed, says Jay Stanley of the American Civil Liberties Union”

Of prediction and policy
via Instapaper