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Friday, September 23, 2016

Weapons of Math Destruction?

More on biases of algorithms.   Inevitable, and will require new kinds of transparency that require deep contextual expertise.  Only governments and big tech enabled companies will have these.    Which do you fear most? Personal or group or government biases can be added to an algorithm quite easily.  It won't be the market choosing.   More hidden than rogue.

‘Rogue Algorithms’ and the Dark Side of Big Data

In Knowledge@Wharton

 Most of us, unless we’re insurance actuaries or Wall Street quantitative analysts, have only a vague notion of algorithms and how they work. But they actually affect our daily lives by a considerable amount. Algorithms are a set of instructions followed by computers to solve problems. The hidden algorithms of Big Data might connect you with a great music suggestion on Pandora, a job lead on LinkedIn or the love of your life on Match.com.

These mathematical models are supposed to be neutral. But former Wall Street quant Cathy O’Neil, who had an insider’s view of algorithms for years, believes that they are quite the opposite. In her book, Weapons of Math Destruction: How Big Data Increases Inequality and Threatens Democracy, O’Neil says these WMDs are ticking time-bombs that are well-intended but ultimately reinforce harmful stereotypes, especially of the poor and minorities, and become “secret models wielding arbitrary punishments.” ... ' 

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