Cover of: Weapons of math destruction by Cathy O'Neil

Weapons of math destruction

how big data increases inequality and threatens democracy

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Last edited by Stew
August 30, 2022 | History

Weapons of math destruction

how big data increases inequality and threatens democracy

  • 3.70 ·
  • 23 Ratings
  • 67 Want to read
  • 3 Currently reading
  • 31 Have read
Publish Date
Publisher
Allen Lane
Language
English
Pages
259

Previews available in: English

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 loan, how much we pay for 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. And yet, as Cathy O'Neil reveals in this urgent and necessary book, the opposite is true. The models being used today are opaque, unregulated, and incontestable, even when they're wrong. Most troubling, they reinforce discrimination. 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. These "weapons of math destruction" score teachers and students, sort CVs, grant or deny loans, evaluate workers, target voters, and monitor our health. O'Neil calls on modellers to take more responsibility for their algorithms and on policy makers to regulate their use. But in the end, it's up to us to become more savvy about the models that govern our lives. This important book empowers us to ask the tough questions, uncover the truth, and demand change.

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Edition Availability
Cover of: Weapons of Math Destruction
Weapons of Math Destruction: How Big Data Increases Inequality and Threatens Democracy
Sep 05, 2017, Broadway Books
Paperback in English
Cover of: Weapons of math destruction

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Book Details


Published in

Great Britain

Table of Contents

Machine generated contents note: ch. 1 Bomb Parts: What Is a Model?
ch. 2 Shell Shocked: My Journey of Disillusionment
ch. 3 Arms Race: Going to College
ch. 4 Propaganda Machine: Online Advertising
ch. 5 Civilian Casualties: Justice In the Age of Big Data
ch. 6 Ineligible To Serve: Getting a Job
ch. 7 Sweating Bullets: On the Job
ch. 8 Collateral Damage: Landing Credit
ch. 9 No Safe Zone: Getting Insurance
ch. 10 The Targeted Citizen: Civic Life.

Edition Notes

Includes bibliographical references and index.

Classifications

Dewey Decimal Class
303.483
Library of Congress
QA76.9.B45 O64 2016

The Physical Object

Pagination
x, 259 pages
Number of pages
259

ID Numbers

Open Library
OL39216364M
Internet Archive
weaponsofmathdes0000onei_u8q4
ISBN 10
0241296811
ISBN 13
9780241296813
OCLC/WorldCat
958464372

Work Description

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 education that could pull him out of poverty, and a vicious spiral ensues. Models are propping up the lucky and punishing the downtrodden, creating a “toxic cocktail for democracy.” Welcome to the dark side of Big Data.

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. These “weapons of math destruction” score teachers and students, sort résumés, grant (or deny) loans, evaluate workers, target voters, set parole, and monitor our health.

O’Neil calls on modelers to take more responsibility for their algorithms and on policy makers to regulate their use. But in the end, it’s up to us to become more savvy about the models that govern our lives. This important book empowers us to ask the tough questions, uncover the truth, and demand change.

— Longlist for National Book Award (Non-Fiction)
— Goodreads, semi-finalist for the 2016 Goodreads Choice Awards (Science and Technology)
— Kirkus, Best Books of 2016
— New York Times, 100 Notable Books of 2016 (Non-Fiction)
— The Guardian, Best Books of 2016
— WBUR’s “On Point,” Best Books of 2016: Staff Picks
— Boston Globe, Best Books of 2016, Non-Fiction

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History

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August 30, 2022 Edited by Stew Update covers
May 12, 2022 Edited by ImportBot import existing book
October 5, 2021 Edited by ImportBot import existing book
September 22, 2021 Edited by Jenner Merge works
April 28, 2018 Created by RoboePi Added new book.