Wednesday, April 24, 2002

Robot cameras 'will predict crimes before they happen'

The Independent News of the UK reports that scientists at Kingston University in London have developed software able to anticipate if someone is about to commit a crime. The software, called Cromatica, works by examining images coming in from close circuit television cameras (CCTV) and comparing them to behaviour patterns that have already programmed into its memory. It can then mathematically work out what is likely to happen next. And if it is likely to be a crime it can send a warning signal to a security guard or police officer. Full text of the news here.

These scientists are still at their inductive logic. "If you look like a criminal, act like a criminal, then you are a criminal."
The thought sends me the shivers. Many times I love play acting on the street.Sometimes I imagine myself as a communist cadre about to drop off some important document from the politburo to an innocent looking trash can in the middle of Cubao. Can't do that anymore, I guess.

But really, how many folks out there seem to act like a criminal when they actually are not? It's probably a small percentage of this 60 Million ++ people which still translates to a couple of thousands. Indeed, this way of thinking "you are mathematically what you appear to be" is a real menace. The margin of error is not at all marginal if these scientists will only realize that they are talking about human beings who might as well be their own wives and children. Well, that's the UK. That's their worry. This is the Philippines where the most advanced computers cannot mathematically tell the police from the robbers.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

That's freaky. Reminds me very much of Spielberg's film "Minority Report".