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Do not fold then staple or mutilate this card. The slogan of the computer a University of Illinois radio service presents a series of programs about you and the computer from banks to hospitals and from airlines to music. It's application in this team and these programs will give you a glimpse of these countless applications and what they mean to you. Do not fold has become an essential phrase in government whether local state or federal as the population climbs tabulation of information mushrooms today in areas where more than 700 people live in a square mile governmental systems are hard pressed to handle daily problems. Mitchell Gordon author of the book six cities summarizes the threat of fragmented governmental cities. He says the mosaic of local
authorities in a single metropolitan area results in increasingly wasteful duplications of local services. Conflict and confusion and their execution inequities in taxation and complete paralysis in the solution of more and more urgent area wide needs of these problems one of the biggest is the growing crime rate. What did you get back to. These are the sounds of policemen in action in Chicago. In the midst of this large urban area policemen comb the blocks of business districts in residential areas to back up the efforts of these patrolmen. The Chicago Police Department has installed a computer based system. Fred a career supervisor of systems in the Data Systems Division explains the overriding reason for this installation. The primary function that we have for data processing at this
time. Is to provide information to the command in the field. To persons from. Vehicles that have started. This is our prime function. From that point we get into any one. Function such as accounting for vehicles. Doing payroll or finance. Updating personnel records. Things such as. According to. Statistics regarding crime. I can say also the sales organization. Also keep statistics on traffic accidents traffic citations. This I would say are the broad. Functions that we perform at the central office of the police department. Each area of Chicago has a separate desk at this desk below a lighted map
indicating streets and locations of squad cars a police officer is in constant radio and telephone communication with that district. If a patrolman spots a driver who is not obeying the law he has contact with the police department computer or through the central desk at headquarters. The patrolman first informs headquarters of the situation at hand. I manage back to make it OK. It might be working but I want her to go ahead economic stop and everybody want catalytic and that we've got to react. Mr. CURRIER of the Chicago Police Department outlines this instant. Rarely do in Chicago is first of all to verify with the owner that his car was stolen. And this requires a beat officer to. Physically see. The individual owner. Who hesitate to. Put out wanted notices on cars just from a telephone conversation.
So and So. Might. Establish that a person had lost his car. And I don't know the town. Or otherwise was attempting to report a car that was not heroes. For one reason or another. Once the verification is made. The basic information is radioed into our communications center. And at this point the dispatcher enters this information on line to a cathode ray tube terminal. Within. Milliseconds this information is stored on the computer and is available to our department members throughout the city. So that if this vehicle is sighted. Or stopped for any reason. The officer will be aware that it is a stolen car. Men on the beat may also encounter an individual who is acting in an odd fashion or is near the scene of a recent crime. In seconds the patrolmen going to have full information about this person. We have.
In our computer file of wanted persons. And this includes everything from a missing person all the way up to. A person wanted for homicide. And every person who is. Detained. For any serious reason. Or who is arrested is automatically checked. Through this file. Our system is designed to where we are using cathode ray tube terminals. And we have access to this information. Both in our radio communication center. And in what we call a feeling quite a reception. This overdose the call was fired by the telephone system from district stations. That are your main takeaway place. This inquiry goes into the computer files and in just a few seconds the officer at
headquarters replies with information about the person in question. In this case the man was suspected and had been charged with a warrant for armed robbery. Such a system is used not only to find those who may be guilty but free those who may be innocent. Still other applications of the department's computer are being developed. The shifts worked by policemen are studied and duty is assigned according to information given to the computer. The efficiency of employees at the department is also rated with the assistance of a computer particular skills even nonprofessional abilities of officers are part of the memory bank of the computer. Thus when the police department needs a man who has a pilot's license and speaks Polish he can quickly be located. Mr. CURRIER describes a few other important applications of the Chicago Police Department's computer. We do keep an extensive evaluation of crime statistics.
This gives us a clue as to how well we are doing. Preventing. Crime. And really this is our main function. We can't very well eliminate the reasons for people committing crimes but we try to eliminate their possibility of getting away with it. How does the man in the street react to these systems. What does the patrolmen think of aid from a computer. Let's cover First of all the officer on the street in this is really the man we're trying to serve. We have found that he is very acceptable to this application of computers. All I have to mention is the fact that if a man a police officer stops a car. Let's say on a dimly lit street late at night. And before he. Stops. Before he gets out of the scrag care if through his radio and through the computer terminal he's able to determine if this car is stolen. He
has a lot more confidence. Getting out of the car approaching this vehicle. And a lot more understanding of what he is approaching. It's a. Great. Problem. Knowing what is the situation that you're getting into. And man that as a police officer in Chicago is constantly running into situations such as this. We're going to make split second. Decisions. As to. What. Questions should follow similar systems are working in the Los Angeles area policeman to do their job. The LAPD system developed by systems Data Corp. and Abel's policemen a study reports of robberies in the area and discover similarities in these events. Keywords are filed in the computer's memory for ready recall when current robbery reports are added to the system. New York State is also developing a computer based system to aid law enforcement agencies. Information will be available to police prosecutors criminal
courts probation correction and parole divisions the fully implemented system will provide rapid access to a summary criminal history of each individual as well as details of criminal social and modus operandi data files of fingerprints fraudulent checks warrants and wanted notices stolen motor vehicles laundry marks and stocks will be available to these New York state agencies. Time going to cations between states with such computer files will be an important part of law enforcement in the future. The FBI is a new National Crime Information Center now provides information on a national basis for many of the larger police departments across the country. Policemen in major cities can contact the NCIC for detailed FBI files on
persons wanted for felonies stolen cars and other stolen goods. The memories of computers at the FBI are scanned for pertinent information and then this data is transmitted to the questioning police department. One of the most revealing characteristics of the modern criminal is this fingerprint an individual market sets him apart from all others and identification that usually defies all attempt at deception complex systems have been designed to differentiate fingerprints but never before has the computer been available to help in rapid identification. Now systems for computers are being developed by such people as Ben Shelmon at Argonne National Lab in Argon Illinois. Mr Sherman explains the reasoning behind this system. I like to consider this reducing a print to a numerical code. Naturally to have a computer understand the code it must be in some kind of a numerical form. And. Essentially these numbers are
what I like to call descriptors and they tend to describe the print. But they are a special type of descriptor. For instance if you consider the character of the ridges as they move across the tip of a finger. That's essentially common to all thinkers. But the curvature as you move bank varies considerably from one print to the other so therefore the curvature below the tip would be the type of information that you would like to recover from a print to use it descriptors. Really what a descriptor is is it's something that allows you to distinguish one print from another. Of course experts are still needed to make the final interpretation. Any working system is going to have to have manual intervention. And.
Cause a computer can can be a good pattern recognition of it but it still can't beat the way. So therefore you wouldn't want I think a balanced system would be allowing the computer and its and its equipment to do as much of the work as possible and then have it call on a human being whenever it gets into trouble and scars warts and things like that. Noise the ink smears in various things that you find withing a printed would probably require a human being to make the decisions. The sounds of the modern computer are heard in the corridors of the county office buildings in Almeida County California. In Oakland computing Steve Gordon Milliman directs a staff of 150 people who conduct a tele processing system
for law enforcement and social service agencies as well as the more conventional data processing operations payrolls taxes court dockets educational information and voter registration list are handled by the Alameda County computers. The files of welfare health services and probation officers have been put into a central information bank called the social service central index. Because of this system it is estimated that social workers can spend 20 percent more time in the field they can concentrate on making basic decisions about They've got pertinent to a particular case while the computer handles the routine calculations and preparations of forms to enroll recipients.
On the state level computers are aiding every department of government from the legislature to the labor office computers play an important role for example in the state of Illinois the records and claims of the unemployment compensation office are tabulated by computer. The complex laws which govern the filings of claims in this division make computations especially difficult. Herman S. Gilbert chief of the computer systems development section in the central office of the Bureau of Employment Security traces the growing need for computers in unemployment compensation computers first and making an impact. On the country and on our industry in general. We came to the conclusion that the two primary purposes are computers of course. Is in the area where there are large volumes in the area where you want to improve service. And this is exactly what has happened in and I eat it with respect to unemployment compensation. You know we have head in a punch
card system. The wages of our current workers at the state of Illinois and Illinois being a very large state you could understand the large volume of cars we have. So our first selection of an area to computer rather than one where we had excess of Braga. The second one of course is more service. Obviously a person drawing unemployment benefits which is in fact unemployment insurance we wanted to give them better service. In order to make them be able to get their claims approved their own more timely basis and their taking of their checks. Much easier than it had been on the old system. So service. Cutting down the nets of excessive manual volumes and service to the claimant. But when the primary reason why we selected the unemployment insurance area the first area to computerize. Mr Gilbert and Mrs Barbara L. Bidwell dept. too and liaison with the computer operations at the Chicago office then discussed the effects of such a change. It definitely was.
Not an easy job. Because number one the variability of the employment compensation act made it very complex. The eligibility requirements were complex. The use of the tremendous volume the way each card. Our law calls for the use in the clane the toll wages that the claim would earn whereas for other purposes of charging the employers based on taxable wages all of these complexities cause a tremendous amount of difficulty in the outset. We go through we in computer terminology again we go through periods with which we call parallel operations. That's This is exactly what we do but the computer programs to be sure that they are working satisfactorily. So it caused somewhat severe problems in the agency doing this diversion period but we were able once we went on to carry the programs through to their conclusion without having to go back to the manual
systems. The average payment has no problems everything has been expedited far more rapidly. They have received their benefits. Far more rapidly than I ever did in the past. This includes the supplements or the additions or corrections that may have been made to their claims. However just as in every computer system there are those few claims that go wrong or a few problems which do exist which do the late benefit payments. But they are rapidly being cleared up then they are fewer and fewer each month that we operate because each time a new problem or a new program is Mr. Taylor said because of the. Complex ability of the act itself. We have straightened it out and processed. Better than we ever did before. Even the number of false claims or illegal filings have been reduced because of the capabilities of the computer. Cross checking of files reveals duplicates quickly before two checks have been sent to the same claimant for the same
week. But future plans for computer applications in this field promise greater help for the unemployed. Herman Gilbert explained some long range projects under future plans of the Bureau of employment securities This is the Federal Bureau is now engaged in the study with the participation of a number of college states. To attempt what they call own land payments at the local offices. In the future after the some of the material is on the program and some of the system designs have been exported from the pallet stay still and we will probably attempt to go into this type of system which means this will be what we call in our own will and real tagging system. At that time. And the claimant will simply have to come to the office and all of the inquiry into the master tape of the master disk bad will be made at the local office. His eligibility for the paper will be determined and his check in fact can be punched out on a terminal in the local office. These are some of the advances that are
planned. Gentlemen. Gentlemen please come to. The bell on the floor has just been seconded by the distinguished by. The state legislature of Pennsylvania uses computers and its daily task of making laws. One thousand sixty eight. Each representative was given access to the memory of the computer for the state legislature in this memory or stored state constitution statutes rules and regulations of departments and agencies. Court decisions and other information which might affect bills under consideration. Detailed research will be done in front of a cathode ray tube by pressing terminal keys quickly a legislator can learn what documents have a bearing on the matter in question.
One of the most widely felt impacts of the computer in this decade is surely within the Internal Revenue Service taxpayers everywhere are filling out forms that are processed by a computer and checked for mathematical accuracy. Taxes are never a welcome item in our obligations. But the Internal Revenue Service is doing its best to lighten the burden. J.G. field bought district director of the Springfield district of the Internal Revenue Service schedule is the reliance of this federal agency upon computers in a broad sense. When we went into computer processing so that would be able to deal successfully with a very high volume of paperwork processing. There are millions of tax returns and millions of transactions relating to them. So we had to have some capability of doing that. And we also wanted to increase our capability in dealing with certain other problems connected with handling tax returns. So
we started out with the basic functions that we intended were the processing of tax return of 100 million or more each year and about 400 million other documents and things related to them and also accounting for the tax collections. We have established a different kind of a company which includes a master tax account for each taxpayer which shows the taxes that he is liable for the returns that he has filed. The payments that he's made the balances that are due are the balances that are due him. As to increase capability we wanted to be able to mathematically verify the items on tax returns 100 percent each year of all returns. We also wanted a system whereby we could make a thorough check on the
filing of returns to find those who may have failed to file returns. We also want to increase capability of processing the information from the various information returns that payers of dividends and rants and wages and so forth send into us against the returns. What do all these applications of computers in the Internal Revenue Service mean to you. Mr Philp OTT explains. We have increased our capability considerably and when they say the system is fully installed I think we can claim a big basic improvement in tax administration through this and increased capability. Now I think this is good for the citizen or taxpayer because one agency of his government here is operating more efficiently doing a better job. And I think also that we're in a better position to assure all taxpayers that.
The great mass of taxpayers are paying what they should under the law. If we're able to find those who don't file and if we're able to collect to find people to collect taxes from. Better if we're able to detect improper refunds and we're able to pick up delinquent amounts that have long been laying there. Then the average citizen will know all that all taxpayers are paying their share is nearly as we can make it and I think this is a big a big consideration. There are a lot of a lot of things that might come a little closer to home if the taxpayer moves and doesn't give us his address. And we've sent him a refund check and it comes back. We often have a hard time finding him. Kelly tells us where he is with a master tax account. The next time he files an item tax
return the next year from a new address the account will be correct and that balance laying there that is due him can then be gotten to him. It has been estimated the computers have made it possible to collect an additional 86 million dollars in tax revenue this past year. The computer's ability to catch arithmetic errors and discourage illegal filings also resulted in twenty seven million dollars of extra revenue in 1966. Another interesting sidelight of such computer applications was outlined by Mr Philp OTT. He commented on the recent increase in federal taxes through a surcharge and the way in which a specific rate was determined. We have already set up a tax model. 95000 returns from various parts of the country and there's a model and computer program so that that can be changed so that if we if we want to know
how much additional taxes would be raised by lowering personal exemption is $100 apiece. You can program make your computer and run this through and come up with an answer in so many millions of dollars which will tell you approximately the effect of this change in the law. If that were to be made or if. How much more tax would be raised if the tax rate were 1 percent more or 1 percent more in this bracket and not in that and so on and other large governmental agency makes widespread use of today's computers in its daily business. The Social Security Administration established in 1935. Now I need some 12000 employees to keep its records. Computer programs aid these employed to determine correct account numbers when an earning item has been submitted with an incorrect account number. This is done by comparing the incorrect number with all the established numbers and selecting a similar name with a similar number except for one digit
or transpose digits such a mistake and Social Security numbers is far from rare. A few years ago a wallet manufacturer created chaos in the social security files when he produced a facsimile use of a social security card with his secretary's account number. He had these facsimiles inserted in the plastic windows of thousands of wallets and suddenly in the Quarterly deluge of earning reports thousands of entries began turning up with the same number the sheer volume of the records of the Social Security Administration demands electronic data processing. A master tape of one hundred seventy two million accounts is scanned daily on this master tape or the summary earnings of everybody who has ever held an account number. Typical quarterly wage items that are tabulated by computer contain twenty six characters of information on one punched cards. Now Medicare records demand as many as five punch cards full of information. This flood of data can be handled by modern computers in the Social Security Administration.
Do Not Fold
Episode Number
Producing Organization
University of Illinois
Contributing Organization
University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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"Do Not Fold" is a program about the growing applications of computer technology. Each episode focuses on how different professions and sectors are using computers to explore new possibilities in their line of work. Interviewees discuss how they are incorporating new technology into their work, what these innovations mean for the future of their field, and how they may affect the general public.
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Producer: Johnson, Jiffy
Producing Organization: University of Illinois
Production Designer: Haney, Edna
AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 69-19-8 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:29:34
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Chicago: “Do Not Fold; 8,” 1969-05-05, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed June 22, 2021,
MLA: “Do Not Fold; 8.” 1969-05-05. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. June 22, 2021. <>.
APA: Do Not Fold; 8. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from