The police in Durham, England bought a license to the "Mosiac" dataset from the credit bureau Experian, which includes data on 50,000,000 Britons, in order to train a machine learning system called HART ("Harm Assessment Risk Tool") that tries to predict whether someone will reoffend.
The Mosiac dataset attempts to group people based on their demographic characteristics, creating marketing categories with names like 'Disconnected Youth,' 'Asian Heritage' and 'Dependent Greys.' People are sorted into these categories based on a suite of criteria that includes their first names (people named "Chelsea" and "Liam" are likely to be classed as "Disconnected Youth"), their exam marks, the size of their gardens, messages they've posted to pregnancy advice websites, and other criteria.
HART was co-developed with Cambridge University. Durham Police say they use its assessments to determine whom to extend additional support to in order to prevent re-offending.
Experian’s Mosaic code includes the ‘demographic characteristics’ of each stereotype – characterising ‘Asian Heritage’ as ‘extended families’ living in ‘inexpensive, close-packed Victorian terraces’, adding that ‘when people do have jobs, they are generally in low paid routine occupations in transport or food service’.
‘Disconnected Youth’ are characterised as ‘avid texters’ whose ‘wages are often low’ – with first names like ‘Liam’ and ‘Chelsea’....
Experian’s ‘Mosaic’ links names to stereotypes: for example, people called ‘Stacey’ are likely to fall under ‘Families with Needs’ who receive ‘a range of benefits’; ‘Abdi’ and ‘Asha’ are ‘Crowded Kaleidoscope’ described as ‘multi-cultural’ families likely to live in ‘cramped’ and ‘overcrowded flats’; whilst ‘Terrence’ and ‘Denise’ are ‘Low Income Workers’ who have ‘few qualifications’ and are ‘heavy TV viewers’.
Police use Experian Marketing Data for AI Custody Decisions [Big Brother Watch]
UK Police Use Zipcode Profiles, Garden Size And First Names For AI-Based Custody Decision System [Glyn Moody/Techdirt]
(Images: Warner Brothers (fair use); Durham Constabulary (fair dealing); Cryteria, CC-BY)
In 2013, the UK coalition government of David Cameron's Tories and the Libdems' Nick Clegg launched a "Help to Buy" scheme that gave incredibly cheap, taxpayer subsidised loans to first-time homebuyers, who got their money interest free for five years and thereafter had to repay it at 1.75% interest.
The United Kingdom’s security minister, Ben Wallace, really gets Lord Varys from Game of Thrones, you know? The Spider had it going on, man. He was hip and, also, with it. That imaginary man who had his love pump lopped off knew from HUMINT, apparently. From The Telegraph: Ben Wallace says there is “increasing scope” […]
It's been two years since the Grenfell tower block in north Kensington burned, killing at least 72 people: the blaze revealed deep corruption and indifference among Britain's richest people and the millionaire Conservative politicians who do their business in Parliament, from the fact that the highly flammable cladding responsible for the blaze was added so […]
Whether you’re an artist, designer or just organizing a photo album, photo editing software is a must. And software designers know it: Platforms like Photoshop and Lightroom have a ton of helpful features, but you’ll pay for them in spades. Luckily, there’s some competition in the photo editing arena. Right now, Skylum’s Luminar software is […]
Who needs a holiday sale? Sometimes there’s no better time than the thick of summer to find deals. We should know – we’ve found ten deep discounts on some must-have items. Whether you’re searching for CBD edibles, exercise gear, chargers or other tech, take a look. But don’t look long – these prices aren’t likely […]
Heading abroad? Even if it’s just a short trip, there’s a lot to prepare for. Travel can be incredibly rewarding, but it can tricky to navigate different cultures and lodging arrangements – and even trickier to do it cheaply. Before you go shopping for suitcases, here’s our pick for a good first investment: The Ultimate […]