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“The Impact”: Plague/Pandemic Preparations; A.I. in the Justice System

Mike McClanahan profile by Mike McClanahan

Watch “The Impact” – May 8, 2019:

This week we bring you an inside look at the state’s plan of action for a pandemic or bio-terror attack. Our cameras were there for a state-federal exercise to simulate the rapid distribution of antibiotics following an outbreak of the plague. The drill involved the Washington State Department of Health, WSDOT, WSDOC, Washington State Patrol, the Centers for Disease Control and local/tribal governments across the state.

“We’re using a plague scenario because bioterrorism is a real threat in Washington state,” said Michael Loehr, Chief Of Emergency Preparedness & Response, Washington State Dept. of Health.

“Influenza pandemics actually occur very regularly. It’s going to happen again,” said Loehr.

“This is important because if we have a real emergency you’re going to be counting on the public health system to get you the meds to save your life,” said John Wiesman, Secretary of Health.

This week we also look at explore questions related to the use of Artificial Intelligence in the criminal justice system. It’s the focus of a judicial symposium in Washington this month.

From facial recognition to data driven algorithms, A.I. and machine learning could play an increasingly large role in the legal system, but should computers make life changing legal decisions?

“For example assessing somebody’s risk to reoffend or to reappear at a court hearing,” said Justice Mary Yu, Chair of the Minority and Justice Commission. “It should give everybody pause not only in terms of civil liberties, but right the worst thing you want to do is really bring somebody into the criminal justice system that shouldn’t be there.”

“Some people say ‘oh that’s great we’re taking out the bias because we’re taking out the person’, but at the same time when you really look at the information and the data that the system uses to create these decisions, a lot people say that data is biased already,” said Cynthia Delostrinos, Manager of Supreme Court Commissions.

Click here to watch The Impact – May 8, 2019



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