(Bloomberg) -- There’s a story Brett Goldstein likes to tell. It starts on a Friday night in 2010 with him sitting in a darkened Crown Victoria on a Chicago street, poring over maps.

Goldstein was a commander at the Chicago Police Department, in charge of a small unit using data analysis to predict where certain types of crimes were likely to occur at any time. Earlier that day, his computer models forecast a heightened probability of violence on a particular South Side block. Now that he and his partner were there, Goldstein was doubting himself.

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