Data scientist at TED: Algorithms are a ‘weapon of math destruction’ that need to be regulated

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Data scientist at TED: Algorithms are a ‘weapon of math destruction’ that need to be regulated

Algorithms are increasingly prevalent in everything we do, from getting insurance to applying to jobs (if the algorithm doesn’t pick your application from a big pile, good luck). While it may seem like these computer calculations are objective measures of whether someone is qualified for a certain position or home loan, human bias is always behind them.

Cathy O’Neil, a data scientist and founder of ORCAA Algorithmic Auditing, had a message for the audience at the 2017 TED talks: “We need to demand accountability from our algorithmic overlords.”

During one of the most popular talks of the Wednesday evening TED sessions, O’Neil laid out the various ways that algorithms can go wrong.

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It’s Not Clairvoyance, It’s Data Science

We’re in a fierce era of ever-increasing competition for great, reliable data.  Around a decade ago, at the start of the Big Data boom, businesses were just beginning to devise ways to capture and record data.  Today, we’re asking, “How do we make our data stronger to deliver insights that are more meaningful?”

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Citizen data scientist trend compensates for lack of skills

Self-service analytics tools are fueling the citizen data scientist trend, helping companies compensate for a lack of analytics skills in the market and making analytics more accessible.

There’s no doubt that data science has been a game-changer for some businesses. But data scientists, the magicians behind the curtain, remain elusive. So, rather than pursue the unattainable, some enterprises are opting to put the power of data science in the hands of business teams.

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