A 1 in 20 Chance – Does That Worry You?
Disclaimer: Views and opinions expressed in Bob’s Blog are solely that of the author and do not purport to reflect the views and opinions of the Office on Aging or its staff. Posted 06/15/2023.
A 1 in 20 Chance – Does That Worry You?
Prior to moving here, I lived in the suburbs west of Chicago for over 20 years. While there and since I have moved to Tennessee, I have regularly heard about how dangerous it is to live in Chicago. Any time I see reports on crime in America on the news or the internet, I read them.
Knoxville’s Crime Rate
In the spring of 2023 US News and World Report had a summary of the most dangerous places in the United States in 2023 and 2024. The results surprised me. I think they will surprise you too.
- The most dangerous place to live in the country is Memphis.
- Chattanooga was the sixth most dangerous place.
Surprisingly Chicago was not listed in the top 25.
Knoxville was not listed in the top 25 either. So how bad is crime in Knoxville.
Rather than doing my own detailed research on this, I got automated intelligence to help me.
You may have heard of ChatGPT. It appeared in November of 2022. ChatGPT uses articficial intelligence.
An automated intelligence system can do several different things. One of these is research.
That’s where ChatGPT comes in. All you have to do is ask a question and it will research the internet and give you the information available on it from a variety of sources.
The Initial Fear With ChatGPT Was . . .
. . . college and high school students would use it to write the papers they had to do for their classes. Their professors or teachers would not be able to tell they had not written them on their own.
Then this fear spread to writers in many fields. Businesses, governmental agencies and really just about anyone might use ChatGPT to write articles, reports and even marketing pieces they needed. Writers would not be needed to write these for them. Here’s some of what ChatGPT can write:
- Articles on almost any subject
- Blog posts
- Advertising pieces
- Training Manuals
- Technical and Instructional manuals
Since ChatGPT came out, many more programs which utilize this automated intelligence system have been created.
Even Google has its own – Google Bard. You can read about it here — https://bard.google.com/.
Microsoft also has its own version. It modified its Bing program for this. To access it, you need to open Microsoft Edge. It will bring up the Bing automated intelligence program and you can check to see how it works.
I have been writing these blog posts for quite a while. Naturally I wondered if at some point I might be replaced by one of these programs. So, I decided to check how good they are.
I went to Google Bard and I asked this question:
How Does The Crime Rate in Knoxville, TN Compare to That in Other American Cities?
Here is the response I got:
Knoxville, TN has a higher crime rate than the national average. In 2020, the violent crime rate in Knoxville was 801.09 per 100,000 residents, which is 2 times greater than the national average of 379.6 per 100,000 residents. The property crime rate in Knoxville was 4,182.13 per 100,000 residents, which is more than 2 times greater than the national average of 2,114.9 per 100,000 residents.
Knoxville’s crime rate is comparable to other cities in the Southeast, such as Memphis, TN and Birmingham, AL. However, it is significantly higher than the crime rate in cities in other parts of the country, such as San Francisco, CA and Seattle, WA.
There are a number of factors that contribute to Knoxville’s high crime rate. Some of these factors include:
- Poverty: Knoxville has a higher poverty rate than the national average. Poverty can lead to crime in a number of ways, including:
- Increased desperation: People who are struggling to meet their basic needs may be more likely to turn to crime as a way to get money or goods.
- Reduced social support: People who are poor may have fewer social supports, such as family and friends, who can help them stay out of trouble.
- Increased exposure to crime: People who live in poor neighborhoods are more likely to be exposed to crime, which can increase their own risk of becoming a victim or a perpetrator.
- Unemployment: Knoxville also has a higher unemployment rate than the national average. Unemployment can lead to crime in a number of ways, including:
- Increased financial desperation: People who are unemployed may be more likely to turn to crime as a way to get money.
- Reduced social support: People who are unemployed may have fewer social supports, such as family and friends, who can help them stay out of trouble.
- Increased exposure to crime: People who live in neighborhoods with high unemployment rates are more likely to be exposed to crime, which can increase their own risk of becoming a victim or a perpetrator.
- Lack of education: Knoxville has a lower high school graduation rate than the national average. Lack of education can lead to crime in a number of ways, including:
- Reduced employment opportunities: People who do not have a high school diploma are less likely to be employed, which can lead to poverty and unemployment.
- Reduced social support: People who do not have a high school diploma may have fewer social supports, such as family and friends, who can help them stay out of trouble.
- Increased exposure to crime: People who live in neighborhoods with high crime rates are more likely to be exposed to crime, which can increase their own risk of becoming a victim or a perpetrator.
- Drug and alcohol abuse: Knoxville has a higher rate of drug and alcohol abuse than the national average. Drug and alcohol abuse can lead to crime in a number of ways, including:
- Reduced inhibitions: People who are under the influence of drugs or alcohol may be more likely to commit crimes, such as assault, theft, or vandalism.
- Increased desperation: People who are addicted to drugs or alcohol may be more likely to commit crimes in order to get money to buy drugs or alcohol.
- Reduced social support: People who are addicted to drugs or alcohol may have fewer social supports, such as family and friends, who can help them stay out of trouble.
- Increased exposure to crime: People who live in neighborhoods with high rates of drug and alcohol abuse are more likely to be exposed to crime, which can increase their own risk of becoming a victim or a perpetrator.
These are just some of the factors that contribute to Knoxville’s high crime rate. It is important to remember that crime is a complex issue with no easy solutions. However, by addressing the factors that contribute to crime, we can make our communities safer for everyone.
I then typed the same question into Microsoft Bing. Here is the response:
According to the most recent data from the FBI1, the total crime rate in Knoxville, TN is 5,037.8 per 100,000 people. That’s 114.74% higher than the national rate of 2,346.0 per 100,000 people and 59.15% higher than the Tennessee total crime rate of 3,165.5 per 100,000 people1.
The violent crime rate in Knoxville is 809.9 per 100,000 people. That’s 108.84% higher than the national rate of 387.8 per 100,000 people and 20.39% higher than the Tennessee violent crime rate of 672.7 per 100,000 people1.
Knoxville has a high crime rate compared to most communities in Tennessee and the nation2. The city has more violent crimes than property crimes, and both types are higher than the national average3 . The violent crime rate in Knoxville increased by 21% from 2019 to 2020, while the property crime rate decreased by 3%. Violent crimes include murder, manslaughter, aggravated assault, and rape, and property crimes include theft, vehicle theft, and burglary.
The chance of being a victim of either violent or property crime in Knoxville is one in 20.
As you can see, Google Bard generated a more detailed response. Not only did it give the statistics, it also gave reasons why the crime rate is so high. When you look more closely, 3 stand out – lack of education, poor paying jobs and poverty.
Most times we blame the schools and government for not stepping up to correct these.
Actually, it’s Your and My Responsibility
We need to see that the students in school get the educations they need. Special efforts need to be taken to make sure those who have problems learning are not left behind.
In 2023, there are many jobs available. The problem is many don’t have the self-esteem to get a job or one they are qualified for. They will fill out applications and send out resumes but they never follow up on them. Without consistent follow-up, there is little chance for them to get a job they are applying for.
Wages have risen locally during the last several years. However, they are still far below the national averages. For a long time, companies in the area have not paid workers the same as they are paying employees in comparable jobs at locations in other states.
We need to stand up and let companies know we are no longer going to tolerate this.
Inadequate education and low paying jobs are main causes of the high poverty rate. People in poverty have to rely on government programs, non-profits and community help to get those things they and their families need to survive.
Here again we need to help people get the training they need to get better paying jobs. Once they have that, we need them to help them find and get one of them.
Is My Job as A Blog Writer In Jeopardy?
Right now, I would say no.
If you look at Google’s Bard and Microsoft Bing’s responses, both are highly impersonal. They just convey the facts. That is machine generated. There is nothing in either which connects with a reader’s emotions – nothing which alarms a reader or makes them want to be concerned.
I try to connect personally with my reader and with their emotions.
So, I guess I am safe.
If you have any comments on what you have read in this post, I would love to know them. Please email them to me. Also – if you have any ideas about subjects you would like to see discussed in future posts, please send me an email and let me know. My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.