Wired: When Government Rules by Software, Citizens Are Left in the Dark

Wired: When Government Rules by Software, Citizens Are Left in the Dark. “IN JULY, SAN Francisco Superior Court Judge Sharon Reardon considered whether to hold Lamonte Mims, a 19-year-old accused of violating his probation, in jail. One piece of evidence before her: the output of algorithms known as PSA that scored the risk that Mims, who had previously been convicted of burglary, would commit a violent crime or skip court. Based on that result, another algorithm recommended that Mims could safely be released, and Reardon let him go. Five days later, police say, he robbed and murdered a 71-year old man. On Monday, the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office said staffers using the tool had erroneously failed to enter Mims’ prior jail term. Had they done so, PSA would have recommended he be held, not released.”

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