The Rise of Predictive Policing: Police Using Statistics to Predict Crime
The Department of Homeland security is field testing a system that will attempt to predict which passengers on an airline are planning terrorist activity, according to Nature. The system, called Future Attribute Screening Technology (FAST) looks at a number of factors, including your pulse, the steadiness of your gaze and the way you walk and calculates the probability that you’re planning to commit a crime. It’s a bit like a polygraph, but it doesn’t require subjects to be connecting to a polygraph.
DHS claims that the system is 70% effective in lab tests.
Nature: Terrorist ‘pre-crime’ detector field tested in United States
But DHS isn’t the only law enforcement agency looking to statistic modeling to predict crime. Earlier this year Slate ran a story on how police departments, including the LAPD and Chicago PD, are researching predictive policing. This projects aren’t about predicting the actions of one individual, Minority Report style, but instead are designed to help decide how best to allocate police resources.
Slate: Can police really predict crime before it happens?.
Viking Youth Power Hour: Philip K. Dick Made You
Grab a drink and fill that pipe full kids, this week the Vikings indulge themselves in the greatest Science Fiction writer of our time and a modern day christian/gnostic prophet, Philip K. Dick. While you may be familiar with the many films adapted from his novels (Blade Runner, Minority Report and A Scanner Darkly among others) you may not be aware that in February of 1974 – around about the same time R.A. Wilson was having some strange visits from the Sirius star system and Tim Leary was busy bouncing his ethereal body up over the walls of San Quentin – PKD believed that a satellite, V.A.L.I.S, which might have been part of a Russian covert operation, part of a nervous breakdown, or perhaps even God itself, blasted a pink laser into his head. The subsequent effects of this experience left Dick speaking languages he did not know, accurately diagnosing illnesses he should not have been aware of, and living in two realities simultaneously…one as PKD, the other as an early christian under prosecution from the Roman Empire. What resulted for the rest of the world were two of the most unique and important science fiction novels in the history of the genre, “VALIS” and “The Divine Invasion”. AJ was our editor, satellite Viking Channel Null offers up our closing hymn.
MP3 (on Viking Youth Power Hour).
Slate on Why Minority Report Isn’t Noir
There’s a longish piece on Slate today on why Minority Report isn’t film noir, comparing it to past noir masterpieces. I think the author makes his case, though I’m not sure what the relevance is.
Slate: Steven Spielberg, Noir Criminal
Spielberg on Minority Report, Philip K. Dick
The latest issue of Wired has an interview with Steven Spielberg about Minority Report:
I thought Ridley [Scott, director of Blade Runner] painted a very bleak but brilliant vision of life on earth in a few years. It’s kind of acid rain and sushi. In fact, it’s coming true faster than most science fiction films come true. Blade Runner is almost upon us. It was ultranoir.
Wired: Spielberg in the Twilight Zone