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Sent to prison by a software program’s secret algorithms

Signal of change / Sent to prison by a software program’s secret algorithms

By Jacob Park / 16 May 2017

Sent to Prison by a Software Program's Secret Algorithms

In March, in a signal that the justices were intrigued by Mr. Loomis's case, they asked the federal government to file a friend-of-the-court brief offering its views on whether the court should hear his appeal. The report in Mr. Loomis's case was produced by a product called Compas, sold by Northpointe Inc.


This signal was also spotted by Ela Rose:

"A software that predicts the defendant’s likelihood of reoffending has already been used by some judges to determine whether an inmate is granted parole or not. This software has been criticised as it may apply additional biases to these cases and lets technology decide the destiny of a person."


How We Analyzed the COMPAS Recidivism Algorithm - ProPublica

The following tables show how the COMPAS recidivism score performed: All Defendants Low High Survived 2681 1282 Recidivated 1216 2035 FP rate: 32.35 FN rate: 37.40 PPV: 0.61 NPV: 0.69 LR+: 1.94 LR-...

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What might the implications of this be? What related signals of change have you seen?

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