Archives for Algorithms

Notes from the Electronic Cottage 1/12/17

Producer/Host: Jim Campbell

We recently looked at what author Cathy O’Neil calls “Weapons of Math Destruction,” big data algorithms that are impacting our lives but that we often don’t know exist, and certainly don’t have the means to examine those algorithms to see how they work and whether they are treating us fairly. A recent “beauty contest” judged by machines has become a poster child for what can go wrong with biased algorithms.

Notes from the Electronic Cottage 1/5/17

Producer/Host: Jim Campbell

Algorithms affect our everyday lives on many levels and most of us have no idea they even exist let alone how they work. If we apply for a job, do a search on the Web, try to get into college, go to a bank for a loan – we are interacting with machine algorithms whether we know it or not. A 2016 book entitled “Weapons of Math Destruction: How Big Data Increases Inequality and Threatens Democracy” helps us regular folks to understand how algorithms are affecting us every day, and not always positively. Here’s why.