Crime predictions generated for the police department in Plainfield, New Jersey, rarely lined up with reported crimes, an analysis by The Markup has found, adding new context to the debate over the efficacy of crime prediction software. Geolitica, known as PredPol until a 2021 rebrand, produces software that ingests data from crime incident reports and produces daily predictions on where and when crimes are most likely to occur. Aaron Sankin, Investigative Reporter and Surya Mattu, Senior Data Engineer and Investigative Data Journalist examined 23,631 predictions generated by Geolitica between Feb. 25 to Dec. 18, 2018 for the Plainfield Police Department (PD). Each prediction they analyzed from the company’s algorithm indicated that one type of crime was likely to occur in a location not patrolled by Plainfield PD. In the end, the success rate was less than half a percent. Fewer than 100 of the predictions lined up with a crime in the predicted category, that was also later reported to police.
Jocelyn Stilwell-Tong, Law Librarian, California Court of Appeal, Sixth Appellate District, has determined that although free AI online is useful, the developing products from major legal research platforms show great promise. These paid products control for issues like hallucinations, and provide citations supporting their work so a researcher can confirm the accuracy and context of the materials the AI is pulling from. Issues surrounding data governance (what the company does with your uploaded material and search history) can be controlled by contract, and the legal vendors understand that this is a concern for most legal clients.