If Human beings are predictable

In of the recent articles published on the internet the author was discussing the views of a senior executive of the US justice department about the risks of using advanced analytics or rather predictive analytics to assess the possibility of a convict repeating crime.

He was worried about the possibility of mathematics and computers denying the right of an individual to receive fair justice and maybe a chance to get better. To some extent I agree with his views because once a person gets tagged with a risk score all decisions and discussions become biased thus making it more difficult for the person to change society’s person of herself or himself. In some situations the person might just give up the fight of changing this negative perception and might find it more comforting to go back to a life of crime.

This is one of the many articles that have continuously been talking about the ability of predictive analytics identifying accurately the behaviour of human beings either in the area of crime prevention, fraud detection or for more profitable reasons like marketing and sales. It is scary to think of the immense uses (misuses) of the ability to accurately predict human behaviour. To a large extent it is also comforting to note that scientist are some time away from getting to 100% and I just hope that it doesn’t  happen in my generation.

I also believe that we humans are responsible to some extent for becoming predictable. The influence of various factors like technology, economy, demographics and culture to name a few, force us to behave in specific ways that make us acceptable to society.

If we flip this concept on its head and apply these learning in the earlier part of a human life I feel we will take one huge step towards making the world a better and more peaceful place, something we all talk about but do very little for.

Till then  it’s the unpredictable part of our behaviour that really make life fun and worth living.