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The Adelphi University Libraries Book Club

A book discussion group for Adelphi University faculty and staff.

"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.' "

Amazon.com
 

About Cathy O'Neil

"Catherine Helen O'Neil is an American mathematician and the author of the blog mathbabe.org and several books on data science, including Weapons of Math Destruction"

Wikipedia