Imagine there’s a watchful pair of eyes right behind you, following you wherever you go and knows whatever you do. It is just there, watching, staring at you, and waiting for your next move.
It is no doubt that you would feel EXTREMELY uncomfortable, right?
We all value our own right to privacy but it has been evident that even our own government has (at some point) spied on us.
This issue strikes a thorny side on public debate however arguments for big government suggest that it would ensure our safety and maintain social stability. This brings and fosters debate among people – from the average Joe to the intellects and those who belong to the higher echelons of power.
The study wants to study the inmates and their habits in order for the AI to learn patterns of behavior that may lead to recidivism. Recidivism is one of the biggest issues in the United States with worrying figures suggesting that a large number of ex-convicts reengage themselves to a crime that results to a repeat arrest and/or conviction.
It is understandable that the researchers will be interested in this topic to be able to understand the data and trends and quite possibly help lawmakers and authorities to craft legislation and policies to help stifle the high rate.
All eyes on them
How would the research do it? They aim to involve a group of voluntary parolees to participate in the study. Then, they will be provided with electronic devices such as wearables that measure their biological data as well as smartphone devices. Data that will be gathered will then be fed into an AI system in order for it to learn and detect possible factors why they might end up getting involved again into criminal acts.
The said study, however, raised concerns for it being a little problematic, most especially in the Ethics front.
As Dan Robitzski of Futurism argues, that the study’s design, in relation to how they will handle the two different groups of participants, might be flawed in the first place. This, according to him, puts into question the accuracy and integrity of the data.
However, the researchers shrugged the concerns off and shared that they only have good intentions in conducting the study.
Ultimately, the ends don’t justify the means. Good intentions or not, we’re still not sure if it will potentially cause a breach of a person’s privacy.
Everybody deserves that right? Even though someone committed a grave wrong in their life and has since repented and gotten back to his feet to join a society, they are ought to enjoy that same right.
The study might be flawed but may it be an inflection point wherein we’ll all be comfortable discussing issues such as this in a healthy intellectual manner.