Weapons of Math Destruction: How Big Data Increases Inequality and Threatens Democracy

254 pages

Published Sept. 6, 2016 by Broadway Books.

ISBN:
978-0-553-41882-8
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4 stars (3 reviews)

A former Wall Street quant sounds an alarm on the mathematical models that pervade modern life — and threaten to rip apart our social fabric

We live in the age of the algorithm. Increasingly, the decisions that affect our lives—where we go to school, whether we get a car loan, how much we pay for health insurance—are being made not by humans, but by mathematical models. In theory, this should lead to greater fairness: Everyone is judged according to the same rules, and bias is eliminated.

But as Cathy O’Neil reveals in this urgent and necessary book, the opposite is true. The models being used today are opaque, unregulated, and uncontestable, even when they’re wrong. 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 …

12 editions

Suit up for Combat!

5 stars

This was an exceptional book. It's not heavy into statistics but gives the rationale for what is a WMD (Weapon of Math Destruction) and WMDs maybe a new term but we have been under the exploitation of WMDs well before we think. It's not a new phenomenon but it is one that we should be aware of.

Take a read and learn how about them so that we can all do better to combat them and use math to not only help describe the world but make it a better place to live in.

Review of 'Weapons of Math Destruction: How Big Data Increases Inequality and Threatens Democracy' on 'Goodreads'

4 stars

Cathy O'Neil, nota in rete come MathBabe, dopo la laurea in matematica e un inizio di carriera universitaria è passata al settore privato nel campo dell'economia, e si è trovata in mezzo alla crisi del 2008. Il risultato della sua rivisitazione di quello che è successo l'ha portata a scrivere questo libro, che trovate anche in edizione italiana, sulle "armi di distruzione matematica" (ADM). Chi è allergico alle formule non tema, perché qui non ce ne sono per nulla. Quello che viene spiegato in teoria ed esemplificato in vari modi è il concetto di cui al titolo: in poche parole si tratta di modelli matematici complessi, spesso legati ai big data o comunque a dati che non nascono direttamente per quella ragione, che risultano oscuri agli esseri umani e soprattutto sono fatti in modo da non accettare feedback a posteriori. Quest'ultima è la vera caratteristica che secondo O'Neil li …

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3 stars