2022 Abstracts Stage 3

Predictive Policing in a Society of Control: A Feminist Critique

Ollie Swain, 2022, Stage 3

Since the late 20th century, Artificial Intelligence (AI) has been an exciting yet daunting topic of discussion for many disciplines, and within the last ten years, we have seen exponential growth in algorithmic use. In the UK specifically, since 2015, police departments nationwide have begun testing and introducing algorithmic-led predictive policing which uses historical data to recognise trends to predict crimes. Academics across many disciplines have widely acknowledged the potential for these systems to reinforce existing social bias. However, one critical issue has remained largely unexamined by such academics: the ominous implications of predictive policing algorithms for the victims of sexual violence within a rape culture.

This project offers an alternative criticism through a feminist lens of predictive policing algorithms, and delves into the power dynamics exercised in such a society along with the structure of oppression that may come from it. This project further shows that to solve the issue of rape culture, reform of individual beliefs and systemic power structures is needed instead of focusing on predicting the outcomes. Using Foucault’s disciplinary power, Deleuze’s Societies of Control, and Iris Youngs phenomenological and political philosophy, this project concludes that understanding the lived experience of women is the most effective way to combat rape culture and sexually violent crimes, not predictive policing. The relationship between cultural structures and physical embodiment shows that it is only on the individual level that we can deconstruct structures of power that permeate a culture, not through institutions.

Leave a Reply