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FROM THIS EPISODE

Tech companies claim that analyzing big data can predict crime and help to prevent it. That sounds like science fiction, but police agencies around the country are buying into it — with federal assistance. Critics say it's science fiction after all — with the risk of violating civil rights and eroding public confidence. Is it making law enforcement more efficient and more effective or reinforcing the biases that are leading to the erosion of public trust? 

Later on the program, will the GOP presidential nomination be decided in "smoke-filled rooms?"

Photo: Cory Doctorow

Producers:
Sarah Sweeney
Paul von Zielbauer
Gideon Brower

Why Dow and DuPont Decided to Merge 6 MIN, 30 SEC

Dow and DuPont have announced the biggest merger plan in the history of the chemical industry. As a measure of their role in the economy, the new combine would then split into three new companies focused on agriculture, plastics and so-called "specialty chemicals." Brooke Sutherland, columnist for Gadfly, Bloomberg's new site for fast commentary, considers what the merger will mean for investors and agriculture.

Guests:
Brooke Sutherland, Bloomberg Gadfly (@blsuth)

Can Big Data Prevent Crime? 35 MIN, 10 SEC

Every cop and sheriff's deputy dreams of the day that law enforcement can stop crimes rather than solving them after the fact. Now many are buying programs from tech companies like Hitachi and IBM which claim that analyzing big data can predict crime before it happens. But garbage in means garbage out, and critics are asking where all that data comes from. Is it information that beat cops and investigators already know? Is it making law enforcement more efficient and more effective—or reinforcing the biases that are leading to the erosion of public trust?

Guests:
Jack Smith, IV, Mic (@JackSmithIV)
Daniel Burrus, tech futurist and innovation expert (@DanielBurrus)
Cathy O'Neil, data scientist (@mathbabedotorg)
Tom Casady, Lincoln Nebraska Office of Public Safety (@TCasady304)

More:
Smith on predictive policing and the Constitution
Smith on predictive policing and minorities
Burrus on predictive analytics' success in preventing crime

Flash Foresight

Daniel Burrus

GOP Preparing for a Contested Convention? 8 MIN, 22 SEC

Today's Washington Post reports that Republican power brokers are preparing for a nominating convention from out of the past. That news has presidential candidates Trump and Carson threatening to leave the party.


Photo: Gage Skidmore

Reid Wilson is the chief political correspondent for the Morning Consult, a political newsletter on Capitol Hill.

Guests:
Reid Wilson, The Hill (@PoliticsReid)

More:
Carson's response to report of insider meeting

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