AI Predicts Corruption

Researchers from the University of Valladolid (Spain) have created a computer model based on neural networks that calculates the probability in Spanish provinces of corruption, as well as the conditions that favour it. This alert system confirms that the probabilities increase when the same party stays in government for more years.

The study, published in Social Indicators Research, does not mention the provinces most prone to corruption so as not to generate controversy, explains one of the authors, Ivan Pastor, who says, “A greater propensity or high probability does not imply corruption will actually happen.”

The data indicate that the real estate tax, the exaggerated increase in the price of housing, the opening of bank branches and the creation of new companies are some of the variables that seem to induce public corruption, and when they are added together in a region, more rigorous control of public accounts might be warranted.

In addition, as might be expected, our model confirms that an increase in the number of years of government by the same political party increases the chances of corruption, regardless of whether or not the party governs with a majority. Anyway, fortunately, for the next years, this alert system predicts fewer indications of corruption in our country. This is mainly due to the greater public pressure on this issue and to the fact that the economic situation has worsened significantly during the crisis.

— Ivan Pastor

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