- Poch Peralta
- Manila Ncr
Freelance Writer / Blogger,
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Will Big Data Make Free Will Irrelevant? Will there ever come a time when we will live without free will?
The Net is flooded with online articles about Big Data I started to think the issue is just being used for publicity and propaganda---until I read this piece relating Big Data to free will
What does it mean when Big Data can make a prediction that someone has a high likelihood of committing a crime? Should the criminal justice system intervene? If predictive analytics can be used to pinpoint our behavior, even before we have purchased a product or committed a crime, how does that impact our understanding of free will and how we treat individuals accordingly?
'"If I could tell with a 98 percent statistical accuracy that you are likely to shoplift in the next 12 months," Cukier tells Big Think, "public safety requires that I interact."
'So what does this interaction mean? Typically you have to commit a crime before you are penalized for that crime, Cukier points out. However, maybe Raskolnikov gets a knock at his door. It's a social worker arriving to offer services. "We’d like to help you."
'Of course, this kind of intervention has its costs. Raskolnikov would become stigmatized in the eyes of his peers, or his school teachers. And after all, he hasn't done anything wrong yet. Data analysis might tell us that he is likely to kill, but doesn't he still have free will?...'