A guide to all the latest gadgets and computer industry news. Click is in Chicago where the police are using tech to predict the location and perpetrators of future crimes.
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This week, fighting crime before it happens.
We are now more surveilled than we have ever been.
Authorities are gathering data on its citizens.
It would be all too easy to confuse the real world
Mr Marks, my mandate of the District of Columbia Pre-Crime Division.
I'm placing you under arrest for the future murder
of Sarah Marks and Donald Dubin, that was due to take
place today, April 22, at 0800 hrs and four minutes.
In the movie Minority Report, the Pre-crimes Unit race to arrest
would-be offenders before they have a chance to
Now, they use psychics but it turns out, something similar
In Chicago, where the violent crime rate has exploded,
law enforcement has been forced to try out unconventional
Authorities are attempting to combine various technologies
in an effort to predict where and when violent
Marc Cieslak went to Chicago to find out more.
Violent crime in Chicago has seen a dramatic increase.
RADIO: A 15-year-old male, shot in the neck.
We need a wagon with a body bag also.
The drug industry is what helps them fuel the violence,
by being able to pay for their activity.
In 2016, 726 murders were committed in the city, a 19-year high.
That's more than the number of murders committed in New York
Chicago is a city most famously known as the Windy City.
More recently, it has earned a nickname that few residents
That's because gun crime is so extreme in some
neighbourhoods, they are comparing them to war zones.
The issue has received increasingly negative attention in the US,
with President Trump tweeting, "If Chicago doesn't fix
the horrible carnage going on, I will send in the Feds".
But many believe that to fight crime in the city, first,
the authorities must understand its causes.
Eddie Bocanegra has for years worked to help young people surrounded
Now a director of the YMCA, he also serves on the mayor's
So this space here that you've got, what do you use this for?
So we use this space for a lot of our kids,
Many of them who are on probation or parole.
More importantly, kids who experience a lot
When you see the front page of a paper, saying a 15-year-old
person killed someone else, these are the kids.
The response from Chicago's Police Department is a new initiative,
driven by technology, which aims to predict where crimes
The University of Chicago's Urban Labs are assisting the police
in its efforts to integrate this technology into its operations.
We have a lot of expertise in analysing crime patterns
and trends in the city, from years of working with data
And so we are leveraging that expertise to really help
the Police Department think about where it should be
allocating its resources to be most effective.
So what kind of data or information is it that the police are providing
We have a number of datasets that we work with from them,
including data on crime patterns, actual crime incidents,
A number of different methods of analysis are used,
including machine learning and predictive analytics.
This is software which takes large volumes of data and tries
These trends can then help predict where a crime might occur next.
This is a heat map of homicides in District 7.
And we are looking at this year over year, from 2011 to 2016.
And basically, what you see on the map is the darker the red,
the more concentrated homicides were in a given area.
What sort of factors are you finding are influencing crime in these
Yeah, so, most of the prediction that we're doing is space-based.
So, yeah, it's locations that are nearby that
are high-risk locations, like a 24-hour liquor
store, a gas station, where people tend to congregate.
The weather seems to be playing a very big role in the data.
You know, we've just had a beautiful weekend and we just had
significantly worse amount of shootings than we had
The police are using these predictive tools to inform
the deployment of officers and resources to areas
where they think crimes are likely to occur.
Neighbourhoods in Chicago's West and South Side are some
It is these neighbourhoods which have been chosen to test
We are just driving through Chicago's South Side now.
Now, this is one of the areas which has experienced the highest
incidence of violent crime, mainly gun and drug related.
To see how all of this different kit works,
I'm on my way to a police station which acts as a command
centre, bringing all of the technologies together.
Heading up the project is Deputy Chief Jonathan Lewen
So this is our Strategic Decision Support Center.
So this is where you bring all of your different
This is the first time that this level of technology
integration has been done, not only here, I think,
So what can we see on the screens we have got around us?
So, all around us are various sensor inputs, cameras, gunshot detection.
The screen behind you is something called Hunch Lab,
which is a geographic prediction tool that brings a lot of data
into a model to predict risk for future violence.
So what you are seeing on these little boxes here are areas
where the model is recommending that we deploy resources
and implement strategies to fight some of the violence
And then it is telling us that we should deploy resources,
visit businesses, do foot patrol, various tactics.
Shot Spotter just very quickly triangulates possible gunshot events
using acoustic sensors that are located throughout the district,
and it shows the officer exactly where, accurate to within 25 yards,
And you can actually play the audio of the gunshot event,
So here's an event with nine rounds fired.
And in this case, you can see the location is actually
the back yard of a house, so that's going to be very accurate.
So this is the decision support system and this
is where everything comes together in one place.
It will soon be available in the hands of officers on smartphones.
So in this case, we are looking at a 911 call of a robbery that just
There are four cameras within a 300 foot radius of that call.
Here is the real-time video from those cameras.
These guys here, these are possible suspects, or...
These are people that might possibly be involved?
How do we know that this is identifying the right people?
We find when we test and measure them, that the model's
recommendations, because we can backdate it, we can look
at a known outcome period and see how it performs.
And we know that it's picking the right people because we know
But some of this technology is proving to be controversial,
It's called the Strategic Subjects List.
and locations, this list is concerned with predicting crimes
Just like Hunch Lab is a place-based risk model, this is a person-based
risk model that is looking at variables such as arrest
activity, so have you been arrested for a gun offence in the past?
So it's using some crime victim data.
Is your trend line in criminal activity increasing or decreasing?
What was your age at the time you were last arrested?
Nothing about race, nothing about gender,
It is using objective measures to determine risk
It's basically telling us that this person is 500 times more likely
than a member of the general population to be involved
in a shooting, either as a victim or an offender.
So in here, we can see his affiliations, his gang affiliations.
We can see also his, is this his arrest record
You can see that he has a weapons arrest.
He was arrested here for aggravated battery.
So here's a first-degree murder charge.
Here's another arrest, this is a narcotics arrest.
So the score estimates how much more likely an individual is to be
the victim or the perpetrator of a violent crime.
The police use this score to inform what they call
This is not designed to be a punitive tool.
This is used to drive what we call a custom notification process,
which is literally a site visit to this subject, to say,
"You've come to our attention for these reasons.
We want to get you out of the cycle of violence.
We can offer you the following social services".
Maybe if they have children at home, it would be childcare services.
"But also, if you don't leave the cycle of violence
and you keep committing crimes, you're going to be subject
to enhanced criminal penalties", because you're a repeat gun
And can you see why, if police officers go and visit
somebody out of the blue, it might seem like they are being
Everybody who has a risk score has committed a crime in the past.
Otherwise they wouldn't even be in the model.
Groups like the American Civil Liberties Union, though, disagree.
They aren't happy about the use of some of these technologies.
The police showed us a database of people who have been involved
in violent crime in the past, and an algorithm which suggests
if and when they might again be involved in a violent crime.
Oftentimes in large numbers, along with a number
But what they won't say is what social services are offering.
Is it just them or is it their entire family?
What is the success rate once that occurs?
The fact is, is that most of the people who are charged for...
You know, if you take two people who are arrested
for a simple drug possession, if one is white and one
is African-American, the African-American is far more
likely to be charged, maybe even convicted.
We have seen that there has been, you know, in essence,
a "once convicted, always guilty" sort of theme that
While there might be disagreements about the use of this technology,
everybody I spoke to had similar ideas about an ultimate
solution to tackling violent crime in Chicago.
It's got to be every, everybody that's a stakeholder
in this coming together to solve the problem.
What is really needed across this city is a commitment
I think a lot of it has to do with preventing, with healing,
and creating a space where individuals can civically
Well, that was Marc and this is Marc.
The police said that the list is composed from people that have
committed violent crimes in the entire State of Illinois.
That is the prerequisite for getting on?
They only consider people who have previously committed crimes?
Yeah, if you've already committed a crime, especially a violent
crime, you might end up on the Strategic Subjects List.
Well, interestingly, earlier this week I spoke to DJ Patil.
Now, until recently, he was President Obama's
I asked him about this and this is what he said.
Many, many deep concerns about the presence of these things.
The fundamental one is the transparency of the algorithm.
Very recently in the US, we had a case that was
What was being used was a number of variables that
And specifically, your race, your background,
You know, these datasets of offenders, we also know,
have oftentimes have an increased bias because of the way police
enforcement happens, or is it happening in one
neighbourhood versus another neighbourhood?
Now, do I think there is merit in the use of this data?
The way we saw it, and one of the reasons why we created
the White House Data-Driven Justice Initiative, is that we realised
that, hey, a huge amount of these people have other problems
It was the week in which we learned that Disney has filed a patent
Minecraft said it would allow content creators
And Amazon promised to refund up to $70 million to parents whose
children made in-app purchases without their consent.
It seems some hackers like waking up Texans in the middle of the night.
All 156 tornado warning sirens in Dallas were turned on at once.
Officials haven't yet tracked down the person responsible
for the midnight hoo-ha but say they were activated via radio
An oceangoing robotic snake has popped up in Southampton.
The Eelume has cameras and sensors so it can perform maintenance
Could the boys in blue be about to go green?
Behold, the Ford Police Responder hybrid sedan.
The eco-friendly car features anti-stab plates in the front seat.
But hang on, it's slower than the petrol model
And finally this week, little green people in your living room.
Globacore has released HoloLens, a virtual reality homage
Guide your green-haired friends to safety across your worldly goods.
Just don't expect a refund for either in-app or
And for three days, home to four fundraising friends.
They will traverse 100 kilometres over mountains and frozen lakes
in temperatures as low as -30 Celsius.
Group leader James' daughter suffers from mitochondrial disease,
and this trek is to raise money for a charity that helps
children with the condition and their families.
These guys are all senior tech geeks by day, so to help
them on their quest, we've equipped them with some
Here we have all our technical equipment.
Some people think this is a lunchbox, but it's not.
But which of these extreme weather gubbins will actually do the job
Suited, booted and sufficiently powered up, they head off
One of the most vital gadgets we're using is this satellite
So it's going to send Connor's wife, my wife, John's wife,
Tuka's girlfriend a text message to say everything's OK.
That's going to keep some of our tech kit that we've got
in here from freezing up, particularly a load of battery
We've armed ourselves with a whole load of different battery packs.
This one here is the RAVPower, and it's designed to be worn.
Here we have the ZeroLemon power bank.
It is a little bit heavy but then again, it packs 30,000 milliamps.
I'm going to hide the Nomad Tile trackable battery pack from James,
Wow, maybe I should have hidden it better.
Tuka, I think we made it just in time, my friend.
Very happy to be at this wilderness hut that we just got to.
I'm trying out the heated insoles today.
We've got the GoPro mounted to the skis.
We're headed off in that direction, about 34K, I think, today.
The little GoPro Hero5 Session was left out overnight.
I thought we'd killed it and I went and kind of scraped the ice
off it in the morning, pressed the button, boom,
So it's like, OK, that's seriously cool.
I've been wearing a Finnish smart watch that's been
As well as tracking your location, dropping a breadcrumb of GPS
coordinates as you move, so once you've done something,
I'm just going to save that up on the touchscreen.
The biggest thing I've found was that it gives
you so much encouragement, you know, when you're
wrecked and you're about to die after 12 hours.
The heated soles in the boot are working quite nicely,
So here we have the Blaze Spark infrared lens.
Keen to capture the Northern Lights, Connor's got a smartphone
You download a app called Blaze Spark.
Very simple to load, and once you connect the camera,
the app automatically starts and your phone becomes
OK, because we had to lug quite a lot of stuff across the Arctic,
there's some bits of kit we didn't take with us.
It's got a fan inside it, so as you light the fire,
it blows air through the bottom, causes it to really combust quickly.
It's also got an integrated battery pack.
And it actually converts heat into electricity and keeps
So this thing has got a USB slot and the phone is on charge.
This hand has got a heated glove on it.
It's quite a lot of weight you're carrying and you can only charge
them up from the mains, so if, like us, you're trekking
out in the wilderness for a few days, they are not
The gloves or the socks, I'll take the gloves.
Invent a great glove, because that would, I'd buy
Filling our water bucket for boiling.
We don't want to go and fall in there because
Sadly, Connor didn't manage to capture the Northern Lights
on his night-vision cam but he did take these beautiful
My activity levels, even though I've been trekking
for two days solidly, it only gives me 83 out of 100!
It keeps you on your toes, knowing how much sleep you need.
It tells you how much REM sleep you had, how much light sleep
you had and how much deep sleep you had.
And it records, therefore, on the basis of that
and the day's activities, the previous day's activities
When you know you've got that measurement happening all the time,
it reminds you to look after yourself and
I've been wearing thermic heated insoles now for a couple of days.
The cable coming out the back of the boot gave me horrendous
So I cut the cable off and just turned them into normal insoles.
This is the Snow Lizard, fully waterproof, solar
Even though your phone is very precious and this
one is to me, for sure, you can do that.
And they are diving around in the snow.
We still have 21 kilometres to go on day three.
So far, the crew has been really jolly and talkative.
For some reason, there seems to be a little less talking now
Blistered and bloody-toed, we approach the finishing line.
That was the hardest thing I've ever done.
You don't do this to feel warm and comfortable and cosy, actually.
You get out to do something like this to raise the money
that we have been trying to raise for the Lilly Foundation but also,
And tech can take you so far, but ultimately, it's your brain
and your endurance and so on that can take you all the way.
But I would still like some heated gloves.
Wow, what a great bunch of guys and what a great story, too,
especially considering they filmed that all themselves.
The good news is that so far, they've raised over ?17,000
for the Lilly Foundation and we wish them and James' daughter,
For more information on their story and everything else you've seen
in this week's programme, check out Twitter.
Time to get up to date with how we will see the rest of the day
unfolding across the British Isles. In mixture of sunny spells and
Click is in Chicago where the police are using tech to predict the location and perpetrators of future crimes.
And tough tech gets tested at the Arctic Circle.