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

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

by Cathy O'Neil

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Overview

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • A former Wall Street quant sounds the alarm on Big Data and the mathematical models that threaten to rip apart our social fabric—with a new afterword
 
“A manual for the twenty-first-century citizen . . . relevant and urgent.”—Financial Times
 
NATIONAL BOOK AWARD LONGLIST • NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The New York Times Book Review • Boston Globe • Wired • Fortune • Kirkus Reviews • The Guardian • Nature • On Point
 
We live in the age of the algorithm. Increasingly, the decisions that affect our lives—where we go to school, whether we can get a job or a loan, how much we pay for health insurance—are being made not by humans, but by machines. In theory, this should lead to greater fairness: Everyone is judged according to the same rules.
 
But as mathematician and data scientist Cathy O’Neil reveals, the mathematical models being used today are unregulated and uncontestable, even when they’re wrong. Most troubling, they reinforce discrimination—propping up the lucky, punishing the downtrodden, and undermining our democracy in the process. Welcome to the dark side of Big Data.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780553418835
Publisher: Crown Publishing Group
Publication date: 09/05/2017
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 24,566
Product dimensions: 5.10(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Cathy O'Neil is a data scientist and author of the blog mathbabe.org. She earned a Ph.D. in mathematics from Harvard and taught at Barnard College before moving to the private sector, where she worked for the hedge fund D. E. Shaw. She then worked as a data scientist at various start-ups, building models that predict people’s purchases and clicks. O’Neil started the Lede Program in Data Journalism at Columbia and is the author of Doing Data Science. She is currently a columnist for Bloomberg View.

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Excerpted from "Weapons of Math Destruction"
by .
Copyright © 2017 Cathy O'Neil.
Excerpted by permission of Crown/Archetype.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

Introduction 1

Chapter 1 Bomb Parts: What Is a Model? 15

Chapter 2 Shell Shocked: My Journey of Disillusionment 32

Chapter 3 Arms Race: Going to College 50

Chapter 4 Propaganda Machine: Online Advertising 68

Chapter 5 Civilian Casualties: Justice in the Age of Big Data 84

Chapter 6 Ineligible to Serve: Getting a Job 105

Chapter 7 Sweating Bullets: On the Job 123

Chapter 8 Collateral Damage: Landing Credit 141

Chapter 9 No Safe Zone: Getting Insurance 161

Chapter 10 The Targeted Citizen: Civic Life 179

Conclusion 199

Notes 219

Index 253

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