Council High Tech Traffic Management
At least 53 councils are using computer models or predictive algorithms for everything from traffic management to benefits sanctions.
23:43 05 March 2019
A new research conducted by Cardiff University and Sky News have found that at least 53 councils are now taking advantage of so-called predictive algorithm for everything -- from traffic management to benefits sanctions. The research also found that almost a third of the UK’s police forces are also using the same technology determining which crimes should be investigated and other related tasks.
Bristol City is using the technology to predict which children could go missing or suffer from domestic violence or sexual abuse. It takes in data such as school attendance, benefits, crime, teenage pregnancy, homelessness and mental health from 54,000 local families in the area.
Gary Davies, head of early intervention and targeted services at Bristol City Council, explained that the system compares data of at-risk children to children who have gone missing several times. The system assigns scores to each child and categorises them as high, medium or low risk, a designation which is used to flag cases to social workers for intervention.
The system works the same way for Silicon Valley tech giants. It is used by Amazon to predict items that previous customers would most likely to buy based on their recent purchases. Facebook’s suggested friends feature predicts who users might know but aren’t connected with online.