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weapons of math destruction chapters

How do you think operations research and scheduling software may be affected by COVID-19 and its aftermath? In our largely segregated cities, geography is a highly effective proxy for race.”, “The result is that we criminalize poverty, believing all the while that our tools are not only scientific but fair.”, “I have no reason to believe that the social scientists at Facebook are actively gaming the political system. A former Wall Street quant sounds an alarm on the mathematical models that pervade modern life — and threaten to rip apart our social fabric. Is this true? Would you recommend this product to a friend? For-profit colleges use WMDs to find and target the poorest students, exacerbating the wealth gap by taking the little money they... (The entire section contains 1224 words.). We have provided relevant page numbers where we can, but ebook formatting of this year’s program may make searching for the page difficult. These details should not be relevant to a criminal case or to the sentencing. Can you think of examples of how algorithms “leap from one field to the next?” (p. 31). When I removed the possibility of eating Pop-Tarts at every meal, I was imposing my ideology on the meals model. Weapons of Math Destruction: How Big Data Increases Inequality and Threatens Democracy. This might be low self-esteem, drug addiction, bereavement, a history of abuse, or any one of many other factors, often unwittingly disclosed in Google searches or questionnaires. (p. 87). Weapons of Math Destruction is not a math book, and it is not investigative journalism. The book avoids the fearmongering approach of labeling all algorithms dangerous, which I appreciate. You may find the search tool in the Google Play ebook reader helpful. Any examples outside of sports? Its platform is massive, powerful, and opaque. If so, would you have otherwise noticed the change? The book tackles issues such as higher education, criminal justice, employment, and civic duties, and the ways in which data and algorithms influence these issues. If so, how do you think they should be used? How did they get this way? What do you think is the best solution? If U.S. News was to include the cost of education as a factor in its rankings, how do you think costs would be affected moving forward? It is powered by haphazard data gathering and spurious correlations, reinforced by institutional inequities, and polluted by confirmation bias.”, “At the federal level, this problem could be greatly alleviated by abolishing the Electoral College system. In this atmosphere, a culture of attempting to “game the system” has grown, along with an industry of coaches and tutors who study colleges’ admissions models closely. What makes a model benign? O’Neil discusses her career, beginning with her time as a quant at the hedge fund D.E. How do you think we can fix the issues associated with online advertising discussed in this chapter? They were almost like students again, angling for good grades from a taskmaster. As discussed in previous chapters, we can flip the script on WMDs and try to use them for good. And once their model morphs into a belief, it becomes hardwired. These correlations are discriminatory, and some of them are illegal.”, “This is a point I’ll be returning to in future chapters: we’ve seen time and again that mathematical models can sift through data to locate people who are likely to face great challenges, whether from crime, poverty, or education. This chapter discusses many technologies associated with criminal justice and policing, and issues with these technologies. We expect it to handle only one job and accept that it will occasionally act like a clueless machine, one with enormous blind spots.”, “If you look at this development from the perspective of a university president, it’s actually quite sad. How did that affect you? Here is her website, where she might presumably provide such guidance in the future. Within this chapter, O’Neil examines how human biases can affect the job application process and how some companies try to use machines to eliminate bias. This chapter discusses how some companies keep an eye on their employees’ online environment to track each employee’s work and productivity. Weapons of Math Destruction makes some good points about the use and abuse of math models and big data. After the rankings became influential, however, they initiated a feedback loop. It’s overly simple, sacrificing accuracy and insight for efficiency.”, “Simpson’s Paradox: when a whole body of data displays one trend, yet when broken into subgroups, the opposite trend comes into view for each of those subgroups.”, “This creates a pernicious feedback loop. They would arrest people for even the slightest infraction, whether it was chiseling investors on 401ks, providing misleading guidance, or committing petty frauds. Weapons of Math Destruction has been Longlisted for the National Book Award! Tracing the arc of a person’s life, O’Neil exposes the black box models that shape our future, both as individuals and as a society. Shop early this year to get holiday gifts on time. Do these college ranking lists contribute to the goal of educating students? Most troubling, they reinforce discrimination: If a poor student can’t get a loan because a lending model deems him too risky (by virtue of his zip code), he’s then cut off from the kind of education that could pull him out of poverty, and a vicious spiral ensues. Log in here. Do you think that utilizing feedback may have changed the outcome for many of these hiring WMDs? Without the Electoral College, by contrast, every vote would be worth exactly the same. WMDs affect how people get insurance and how much they pay for it. Do you see examples of this right now? WEAPONS OF MATH DESTRUCTION. They do not invent the future.”, “Justice cannot just be something that one part of society inflicts on the other.”, “In a system in which cheating is the norm, following the rules amounts to a handicap.”, “Just imagine if police enforced their zero-tolerance strategy in finance. Even with regulations in place, a purely regulatory solution assumes that industry is keen on following the regulations. It might seem like the logical response is to disarm these weapons, one by one. Learn how your comment data is processed. Weapons of Math Destruction has been Longlisted for the National Book Award! Authors: Shikha Verma. Thanks for exploring this SuperSummary Plot Summary of “Weapons of Math Destruction” by Cathy O'Neil. (Don’t forget to consider the intersections of these identities!) We have to explicitly embed better values into our algorithms, creating Big Data models that follow our ethical lead. On page 33, the author calls hedge funds “morally neutral.” What does the author mean? ©2020 eNotes.com, Inc. All Rights Reserved. The value-added model in Washington, D.C., schools, to return to that example, evaluates teachers largely on the basis of students’ test scores, while ignoring how much the teachers engage the students, work on specific skills, deal with classroom management, or help students with personal and family problems. The questions below break down the book chapter-by-chapter and provide a guide for discussion. But there’s a more current problem: we trust machines to build algorithms based on incomplete or biased data that we feed them, and they perpetuate poor and unfounded decisions under the guise of ‘scientificness’ because a computer made the decision. This drives their credit rating down further, creating nothing less than a death spiral of modeling. She then says that when a formula that works on a small scale grows to become a national or global standard, “it creates its own distorted and dystopian economy.”. PredPol claims that its software is based on geography and not race. You'll get access to all of the How else does social media play a role in politics? How does this connect back to the discussion on credit from the previous chapter? But what they have demonstrated is Facebook’s enormous power to affect what we learn, how we feel, and whether we vote. It's the winner-take-all mathematics from state to state that delivers so much power to a relative handful of voters. That’s a signature quality of a WMD.”, “Opaque and invisible models are the rule, and clear ones very much the exception. O’Neil also explains how financial institutions hold those audits at arms’ length and exercise their power as consumers to demand good ratings from the auditors.

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