miércoles, 3 de octubre de 2018

Weapons of Math Destruction: How Big Data Increases Inequality and Threatens Democracy - Cathy O'Neil

Weapons of Math Destruction: How Big Data Increases Inequality and Threatens DemocracyWeapons of Math Destruction: How Big Data Increases Inequality and Threatens Democracy by Cathy O'Neil
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a must read book to understand our daily life and how it is mastered by algorithms and maths in a growing manner. But do not fear to meet with a complex text, the book is written in a readable style and you will almost read in a day or two if you are on holidays.

The author calls the algorithms used by companies "Weapons of Math Destruction (WMD)", characterized by its opaciity, scalability and damage. Obviously, not all the algorithms are WMDs, but there are many cases where they are. In the book, you can find many examples of cases where maths are weaponized through bias not only towards vulnerable minorities but towards almost every citizen, except the more privilegized.WMDs are now part of our all lifecycle, dominating education, hiring, evaluation of work performance, insurance and finance sector and, of course, our daily usage of the internet.

However, the book is not just another neoluddite piece. To begin with, the author is an specialist on data analysis who has worked many years on the matter. The author pointed to the bad usage of maths, hihlighting how algorithms could be a useful tools if we introduce human values in its application. The central perversion on our usage of math is the focus on efficiency, laying aside fairness and defining a paralel reality which perpetuates and reinforce the existing discriminations.

Nevertheless, the book is also a call for hope. In may passages of the book the author reminds us our own responsibility. Particularly, it points to those who work in the digital industry. Furthermore, it includes a kind of Hippocratic Oath for them in its final pages. In the end, reverting the situation is sill on our hands.


View all my reviews

1 comentario:

palyginti kainas