White House proposing ‘Minority Report’-style office to use data to predict crime

The idea was not met well with people online.

Aug 22, 2019, 11:12 am

Tech

Andrew Wyrich 

Andrew Wyrich

Donald Trump HARPA Proposal

Gage Skidmore/Flickr (CC-BY-SA)

President Donald Trump’s White House is reportedly considering a proposal that would create a new department in the government to try and detect the potential of violent acts using artificial intelligence.

The Washington Post reports that in the wake of deadly shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, earlier this month, Trump has reacted positively to a proposal to create a new department within Health and Human Services called the Health Advanced Research Projects Agency or HARPA.

According to the PostHARPA would use “breakthrough technologies with high specificity and sensitivity for early diagnosis of neuropsychiatric violence” and lists a number of apps and smart home devices that could be used to collect data including: Fitbits, Amazon Echos, Apple Watches, and Google Homes.

Those pushing the proposal told the Post that it would collect data from volunteers, but given the United States’ notoriously horrendous record with surveillance and technology, the news of the White House considering such a proposal left many people feeling uneasy.

Several people compared it to Minority Report, a movie based on a Philip K. Dick story where people are arrested based on advance knowledge that they are going to commit a crime.

https://twitter.com/ParkerMolloy/status/1164518818712096769

https://twitter.com/mims/status/1164549200257982471

You can read all of the Washington Post report here.

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Last updated Aug 22, 2019, 11:31 am