Machine learning companies are making big bucks selling opaque, secretive sentencing algorithm tools to America's court systems: the vendors of these systems claim that they are too sophisticated to explain, and use that opacity to dismiss critics who say the algorithms oversentence black and poor people.
Enter the Supersparse Linear Integer Model, or SLIM, developed by Cynthia Rudin (Duke), Jiaming Zeng (Stanford) and Berk Ustun (MIT). The SLIM model was trained on a public dataset of records on recidivism among 33,000 inmates, and the resulting system is simple enough that a judge can hand-compute a convicted person's score.
The system is retrainable to suit local characteristics and data, uses open training data and open software, and appears to be the opposite of a Weapon of Math Destruction.
The algorithm also builds models that are highly customizable. The researchers were able to build separate models to predict the likelihood of arrest for different crimes such as drug possession, domestic violence or manslaughter. SLIM predicted the likelihood of arrest for each crime just as accurately as other machine learning methods.
The SLIM method could also be applied to data from different geographic areas to create customized models for each jurisdiction, instead of the “one size fits all” approach used by many current models, Rudin says.
As for transparency, the models are built from publicly available data sets using open-source software. The researchers disclose the details of their algorithms, rather than keeping them proprietary. Anyone can inspect the data fed into them, or use the underlying code, for free.
OPENING THE LID ON CRIMINAL SENTENCING SOFTWARE
[Robin A Smith/Duke]
(via 4 Short Links)
A homeless man, Johnny Bobbitt Jr., was famously seen to give his last $20 to a young woman, Kate McClure, who had run out of gas. Then McClure and her husband, Mark D’Amico, raised $400,000 on GoFundMe by way of thanks, only to end up publicly shamed after only gaving a small portion of the […]
Tyler Barriss, a serial hoaxer whose SWATting calls to 911 we’ve covered before, is off to jail. He’ll serve at least 20 years, according to his plea deal, but won’t be sentenced until January. A California man has admitted making a hoax call that ultimately led police to fatally shoot a Kansas man following a […]
At least 13 are dead after a gunman opened fire at a crowded bar in Thousand Oaks, California. The dead include the shooter and a Sheriff’s sergeant who tried to stop him. A man, identified by authorities as Ian David Long, 29, entered the Borderline Bar and Grill at 11.20pm, threw smoke grenades into the […]
There are two times you never want to just “eyeball” it: Conducting brain surgery and matching shades of paint for your walls. Whether you’re painting or repainting, make sure you’re never just “close enough” to the color you want. Not when the Nix Mini Color Sensor can scan and match any color perfectly. Small enough […]
In photography as in film, all the real artistry is in post-production – increasingly so, with the new possibilities cropping up in digital imaging. If you’re ready to get serious about your photography, may we suggest HDR Projects 2018 Pro. As working photographers can tell you, this imaging software can help you re-imagine even the […]
A picture can be worth a heck of a lot more than just a thousand words. If you’ve squinted for ages trying to get just the right photo, you might have the right passion for a career behind the camera. You might even have the right equipment, but do you have the know-how? The Beginner-To-Expert […]