Wednesday, 3 December 2014


Using Bavaria as a pilot-site, German police forces are gauging whether adopt a software platform, with a virtual nod, wink, bow and kow-tow to the dystopia concept of pre-crime, as first suggested by writer Philip K. Dick and adapted into the disturbing film Minority Report.

Rather than directly profiling would-be criminals for a self-fulfilling recidivism, the algorithm triangulates trends in crime and crime-scene location and aims to plot the ideal beat for law enforcement to stick in order to optimise their efforts and maybe stand in between criminal and victim. An allusion to the precogs, the platform is called the Precobs, “the Pre-Crime Observation System.” Niedlich—I do hope that the authorities salivating over this new wonder realise that such big data and likelihood flow in both directions. What do you think? Other police forces have already deployed such programming but with little to show for it, yet, and field-tested I’m sure on protesters and rangy mobs, it does not seem like a particularly better kettler yet either. I am sure a few defacers of public property might be netted, though.  We’ll see how this turns out.