How would you like to be sentenced by a computer program?

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by mobilehaathi, May 1, 2017.

  1. mobilehaathi macrumors G3

    mobilehaathi

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    #1
    https://mobile.nytimes.com/2017/05/...by-a-software-programs-secret-algorithms.html

    Maybe you see nothing wrong with this? At a minimum a defendant has a constitutional right to inspect and challenge all evidence used against him. But maybe you think that Big Data is Unbiased and Fair?

    Well perhaps you should consider this:

    https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/04/170413141055.htm

    http://science.sciencemag.org/content/356/6334/183

    Good luck.
     
  2. DrewDaHilp1 macrumors 6502a

    DrewDaHilp1

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    #2
    That's not quite what happened. The man was convicted assuming by a jury(good luck finding any info via google about his original trial), and the sentence was handed down by a Judge. Six years is pretty light compared to the fact that, A. He's already been convicted of sexual assault. He was in a stolen car and he evaded a LEO. So a history of violence and grand theft. My care meter is pegged at zero.
     
  3. shinji macrumors 65816

    shinji

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    #3
    If we're going to use algorithms for sentencing at all, then they should be open source. We have no idea if this private company's trade secret is heavily biased, and yet the whole selling point is that the algorithm is "more objective."
     
  4. lowendlinux Contributor

    lowendlinux

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    #4
    That was the big call out during the trial.
     
  5. Eraserhead macrumors G4

    Eraserhead

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    #5
    That's not what the justice system is supposed to do. The right of a fair trial applies to everyone.
     
  6. satcomer, May 2, 2017
    Last edited: May 4, 2017

    satcomer macrumors 603

    satcomer

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    #6
    I'm under the mind that justice is not fair. Just ask a Black man or any other man falsely accused or rape! Then think real hard on a sexual preditor that happens to cute white female teacher and the slap on the wrist they always get! :mad:
     
  7. yaxomoxay macrumors 68000

    yaxomoxay

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    #7
    What?
     
  8. Raid macrumors 68020

    Raid

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    #8
    To answer the question in the OP, It depends on if I have access to the source code or not... :D

    Seriously though; I think the algorithm can be a useful tool, but shouldn't be the final say.
     
  9. chown33 macrumors 604

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    #9
    I realize you posted with a smiley, but source code alone won't suffice. You'd also need the entire training data set, and the order in which the data was applied.

    The program's behavior depends on multiple factors, only one of which is source code. Think of the training data as a huge blob of state. The output depends on the next input, as well as all the variables making up the current state.

    "Machine learning" is really "machine-directed data acquisition", where the "machine-directed" part uses some of the previously acquired data to decide how to process subsequent data.
     
  10. mobilehaathi thread starter macrumors G3

    mobilehaathi

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    #10
    Well, then we can agree that Trade Secrets do not trump Due Process, but as chown33 rightly points out---and as is suggested in the second set of links I quoted---the training data is a critical component of the process.

    To lay out my two concerns more concretely: first, due process requires complete transparency at every level. This means the ability for a defendant to examine and confront not only the source code of the algorithm that has an effect on his/her proceedings but also the underlying process and data by which it was trained.

    Second, there are many people who promote the idea that the analysis of Big Data with the proper procedure is some kind of unbiased truth machine that will not only solve the all the world's problems but is actually a fundamental representation of objective truth. I'd say that the people working in these fields who aren't blinkered by arrogance would readily admit that this is ridiculous, but there are some who believe it, promote it, and have convinced lay people of it---maybe even courts. And that is dangerous.
     
  11. Gutwrench macrumors 65816

    Gutwrench

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    #11
    The thread title is misleading. That isn't what happened. Please read the article.

     
  12. shinji macrumors 65816

    shinji

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    #12
    The point the OP is making isn't about only this one person.
     
  13. Gutwrench, May 3, 2017
    Last edited: May 3, 2017

    Gutwrench macrumors 65816

    Gutwrench

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    #13
    Do you have an example where a computer program sentenced someone?
     
  14. shinji macrumors 65816

    shinji

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    #14
    Are you really this pedantic?
     
  15. Gutwrench macrumors 65816

    Gutwrench

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    #15
    It has nothing to do with being pedant because it's inaccurate to imply software is sentencing people. What happened was a judge improperly considered a report generated by software in determining a person's sentence. That was inappropriate. What actually happened was bad enough. Exaggeration, sensationalism, and just plan inaccuracies are at epic proportions.
     
  16. TheAppleFairy macrumors 68020

    TheAppleFairy

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    #16
    RPI, it is a great school. No I am not a student there but I do jog on their track occasionally when I need to time my laps.
     
  17. Raid macrumors 68020

    Raid

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    #17
    Jeez if I was going to fix it for everyone sure, but for me I just need a simple if statement just prior to releasing the AI's decision (like: If $Defendant = "Raid" Then $Sentence = 'Two years less a day; time served. No probation required." else $Sentence = $Big_Data_Result End) :p

    I agree with this completely. While AI can be useful, quick (and even transparent if so desired) in sourcing relevant facts and equating them to sentencing periods, there could be bias in the results due to poor data input or source data.

    For every estimation equation there's this term stuck way at the far end called 'e', it's tiny and just sits there but it means error, and it's rather innocuous presence could mean a whole lot of trouble with the variability in predictions... anyone who tells you different is probably the one marketing such systems.
     

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