Our various law enforcement officers and prosecutors are very effective at stopping crimes being committed and also investigating and prosecuting crimes after they’ve been committed (but see Note).
Now we must move to the next level: Stopping crimes from being committed. From two fathers who shot their own sons in the face, to a shooter at a synagogue, to a truck driver who is unable to stop a speeding truck without killing people, we need to figure out where, when and how for the police to intervene before these horrible things happen.
This issue was tackled in the movie “Minority Report” (2002). In my vision, the PreCogs in the movie would be replaced by artificial intelligence programs running on supercomputers. For the sake of all of us, I think the research and development of such a system is more important than going to the Moon or Mars or self-driving cars. How many lives could be saved if even 10% of violent crimes could be stopped before they happen?
I predict that this is possible in my son’s lifetime. But is anyone working on this now?
Note: Not all departments are good at solving crimes. One glaring example is the inability of the Chicago Police Department to solve a string of 51 killings of women, going back to 2001, most involving women of color. Some suspect a serial killer is on the loose.
And then there’s the Baltimore Police Department, which has destroyed 521 rape kits without processing them since 2010. There will be no justice here.
Originally posted on my Facebook page on April 27, 2019.