News Articles & Bail Studies

AI EXPERTS WANT TO END ‘BLACK BOX’ ALGORITHMS IN GOVERNMENT

(From Wired.com – 10.18.17)

THE RIGHT TO due process was inscribed into the US constitution with a pen. A new report from leading researchers in artificial intelligence cautions it is now being undermined by computer code.

Public agencies responsible for areas such as criminal justice, health, and welfare increasingly use scoring systems and software to steer or make decisions on life-changing events like granting bail, sentencing, enforcement, and prioritizing services. The report from AI Now, a research institute at NYU that studies the social implications of artificial intelligence, says too many of those systems are opaque to the citizens they hold power over.

The AI Now report calls for agencies to refrain from what it calls “black box” systems opaque to outside scrutiny. Kate Crawford, a researcher at Microsoft and cofounder of AI Now, says citizens should be able to know how systems making decisions about them operate and have been tested or validated. Such systems are expected to get more complex as technologies such as machine learning used by tech companies become more widely available.

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 (From the Fresno Bee – Oct 19 2017)

Kings County sheriff exposes ‘political half-truths’ on California bail costs

To avoid measuring the true cost of eliminating California’s bail system, two officials amended their legislation, Senate Bill 10 and pushed the date when the legislation would go into effect until Jan. 1, 2020.

Clearly, this is a misleading maneuver by State Sen. Bob Hertzberg, D-Van Nuys, and Assemblyman Rob Bonta, D-Oakland, to hide the fiscal impact to our county and local government agencies and to their fellow members of the Legislature, who are being asked to vote for this legislation.

But Hertzberg and Bonta are not stopping there. These two legislators are also playing fast and loose with the cost savings they are claiming under SB10. When considering any savings gained by releasing inmates, these legislators are ignoring that these savings would have to come at the expense of jails closing part of their facilities and laying off deputies.

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