Picture of author.
6+ Works 2,011 Membros 99 Críticas 1 Favorited

About the Author

Image credit: Source : Author's photo available from https://www.mathbabe.org

Obras por Cathy O'Neil

Associated Works

De skjulte algoritmer : teknoantropologiske perspektiver (2018) — Autor, algumas edições1 exemplar

Etiquetado

Conhecimento Comum

Membros

Críticas

A powerful explanation of how algorithms and statistical models are used in various aspects of financial and public life in the United States, although some of them have the potential to cause a lot of harm. I don't think there was much in this book that I hadn't read about before, but it was well written and served as a useful reminder.
 
Assinalado
queen_ypolita | 94 outras críticas | Mar 24, 2024 |
Important subject, but not as deep or engaging as I was hoping for. I found myself skimming chapters more often than I wanted to. It feels like a New Yorker column that got fleshed out to book length - good, but not gripping.
 
Assinalado
patl | 94 outras críticas | Feb 29, 2024 |
If data were money, would you let Mark Zuckerberg run for President of the United States? This question jumped out at me while I was finishing Cathy O'Neil's provocative screed "Weapons of Math Destruction."

This spring the Zuckerberg family took a Great American Road Trip ostensibly to see how other Americans were faring under technological trends, and presumably under the Trump administration. Zuckerberg himself was quick to dismiss press speculation that the trip was intended to gather data on Zuckerberg's chances in the 2020 US elections.

Still the question remains an open one: how "fit" would a Silicon Valley oligarch be considered for the nation's highest office.

Based upon my reading of O'Neil's book, the answer is clear: Americans -- and the rest of us (I am not American) -- are rapidly coming under the thumb of big data; that big data's grip is stronger on socially and economically disadvantaged people; and the bigger the data the more valuable the resource.

An illustration would do here: an insurance company gathers data on where you drive your car, your propensity for jackrabbit starts at intersections, and how quickly you motor down side streets. The insurance company makes you an offer: manage your car a little more safely and we'll drop your insurance premiums by, say, 6%.

In this scenario, providing access to your data -- providing access to your private information -- gives you a clear financial incentive. I know exactly how much money I can save by modifying my driving habits.

Here's another scenario: your employer offers you a disincentive to continue smoking, eating pizza five times a week, and guzzling eight beers a day at dinner. Your company-run health insurance premiums will rise and be deducted from your pay.

This is the power that big data wields today. Not next week, not next decade.

As CEO of Facebook and its gargantuan unique data resources, Zuckerberg is far wealthier than his monetary wealth would suggest. That alone should make him unfit to contest an election.

Data is wealth. Big time.

But US election laws do not recognize data as having any influence on the outcome of elections even if you and I both know that data is bankable. Sources of money must be documented -- to a degree. Connections with foreign powers must be disclosed. But access to data? Control over algorithms? Nary a word.

If we wonder why our political leaders seem to be so weak in the face of economic pressures, social trends, and technology, it's because most of our leaders are data poor. They must beg and pay for data at the trough of the most powerful.

O'Neil rightly points out that privacy has a very real price, a price that only wealthy will be able to pay in the future, and even the wealthy participate in the data sharing. Poor people, young people looking for their first job, convicted felons, families looking for financing on their first home, new drivers, high school graduates wanting admission to elite universities, and even school teachers will have no choice. Big data will extract economic rents on them to give them access.

O'Neil calls them the new tribes -- may we call them "data tribes"? -- groups who are constructed by algorithms to whom are sold a product, or an idea, or to weed out from exclusive clubs.

Even today there are wellness penalties for not participating, teacher metrics, recidivist forecasting, crime forecasting, recruiting screens, and credit scores.

Facebook and Google algorithms are massive, powerful, and opaque. Detecting bias in the computer algorithms will be among our greatest challenges in the post-information age.

In 2020, the Republicans will have a serious problem with Donald Trump. Commentators have focussed on the trouble Democrats will have unseating Trump, but I think that if Republicans want a primary challenge to Trump they are going to have to go deep or go home.

Is a Zuckerberg or Bezos the way they need to go? Well, Peter Thiel backed Trump.

O'Neil muses that dumping the electoral college system would be one way to protect the republic and i would have to agree. The electoral college protects the bias built into the US election system toward state interests which are clearly anti-democratic.

States shouldn't rule.

Should data tribes?
… (mais)
 
Assinalado
MylesKesten | 94 outras críticas | Jan 23, 2024 |

Listas

Prémios

You May Also Like

Associated Authors

Estatísticas

Obras
6
Also by
1
Membros
2,011
Popularidade
#12,800
Avaliação
3.8
Críticas
99
ISBN
45
Línguas
10
Marcado como favorito
1

Tabelas & Gráficos