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By Rebecca Lefort
Published: 8:30AM BST 25 Jul 2010
Software that can predict when and where future violent crimes will be committed is being used in Britain for the first time.
Two police forces have begun trialling the sophisticated programme, which has echoes of the Tom Cruise film Minority Report, where psychics are used to stop criminals before they commit a crime.
The system, known as Crush (Criminal Reduction Utilising Statistical History) evaluates crime records, intelligence briefings, offender profiles and even weather reports, to identify potential flashpoints where a crime is most likely to occur.
The “predictive analytics” technology has been credited as a key factor behind a 31 per cent fall in crime and 15 per cent drop in violent crime in Memphis, Tennessee, according to The Observer.
The software has been developed by IBM which has invested $11 billion in analytics over the past four years.
The brain scan that can read people's intentionsCall for ethical debate over possible use of new technology in interrogation
A team of world-leading neuroscientists has developed a powerful technique that allows them to look deep inside a persons brain and read their intentions before they act.
The research breaks controversial new ground in scientists' ability to probe people's minds and eavesdrop on their thoughts, and raises serious ethical issues over how brain-reading technology may be used in the future.
The team used high-resolution brain scans to identify patterns of activity before translating them into meaningful thoughts, revealing what a person planned to do in the near future. It is the first time scientists have succeeded in reading intentions in this way.