Harrisburg University criminality prediction study

Released: June 2020

Can you improve this page?
Share your insights with us

Professors and a PhD student at Harrisburg University have developed software that automatically predicts whether someone is going to become a criminal based solely on a picture of their face with '80 percent accuracy and no racial bias'.

A backlash quickly followed the announcement, with the researchers accused of 'unsound scientific premises, research, and methods which … have [been] debunked over the years' by the Coalition for Critical Technology (CCT) in an open letter signed by over 1,700 academics demanding the research remains unpublished.

Springer Nature later confirmed it will not publish the research, which was subsequently withdrawn by Harrisburg University.

The research was intended to appear in a book series titled 'Springer Nature – Research Book Series: Transactions on Computational Science & Computational Intelligence.'

In a similar vein, researchers from Shanghai Jiao Tong University claimed their software could predict criminality using facial analysis in 2016.

Developer: Harrisburg University
Country: USA
Sector: Govt - police
Purpose: Predict criminality
Technology: Facial recognition; Emotion detection
Issue: Accuracy/reliability; Bias/discrimination - race, gender, age, income; Ethics;   Pseudoscience