Future Cops / Hong Kong Radio 3

Hong Kong 3’s Phil Whelan and I started our weekly catch up chatting about the future of law enforcement, before diverting quickly to Australia’s rebirth as a penal colony and then trying to move on to prison life and the changes over time, but then all of a sudden I felt compelled to confess something I hadn’t spoken about in a long time, that I had spent 10 years in and out of prisons and had some personal insights.

Now before you become all judgy, I was a volunteer prison chaplain who spent most Sunday’s visiting prisoners around Victoria, offering a listening ear, an alternate conversation and a glimpse to the outside world they would one day re enter.

So the conversation kinda got hijacked with some of my stories from the inside and my staunch belief that the purpose of prisons is to get the guilty out of main stream society and warehouse them until some future point in time. We espouse the notion of it providing rehabilitation but I never saw it happen. Sure, individuals decided to rehabilitate themselves, but the system never did –in my day there was a 60% recidivism rate -but after I got that off my chest, we did push back to explore the future of law enforcement, prisons and crime.

So this is the question, would you be comfortable in a world where belongings are all electronically tagged and difficult to steal (aka Internet of Things), or a world where all human activity is logged and kept and where artificially intelligent robot judges (although technically even AI has bias) rule on misdemeanors and crimes and impose criminal sentence based purely on on empirical evidence?

It sounds a bit minority reportish, but all of these things are almost possible now. We as a society have to make decision right now about how far down this track we want to travel and because we can use technology to do things is not a good enough reason to do it and for me I want there to always be a human element in all this pontificating, deliberating and adjudicating.

So, in this near future human world, what will law enforcement look like? Will it exist, or be necessary? and are we all destined to become model citizens, incapable of committing crimes?

This was one of those esoteric chats that has left me with lots of questions worthy of a debate over a late night drink or coffee, so pour yourself a glass of wine or coffee, sit back and have a listen (15 mins 30 secs).

Eye on the Future - Sep 5, 2017 | All, Horizon Trends, People, Radio Interview, Robots, Social, Technology
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