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Cathy O'Neil

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Cathy O'Neil


Born
The United States
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Cathy O’Neil is the author of the bestselling Weapons of Math Destruction, which won the Euler Book Prize and was longlisted for the National Book Award. She received her PhD in mathematics from Harvard and has worked in finance, tech, and academia. She launched the Lede Program for data journalism at Columbia University and recently founded ORCAA, an algorithmic auditing company. O’Neil is a regular contributor to Bloomberg View.

Average rating: 3.87 · 25,427 ratings · 3,189 reviews · 7 distinct worksSimilar authors
Weapons of Math Destruction...

3.89 avg rating — 23,994 ratings — published 2016 — 17 editions
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The Shame Machine: Who Prof...

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Doing Data Science

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3.71 avg rating — 547 ratings — published 2013 — 11 editions
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On Being a Data Skeptic

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Once and Future Feminist (B...

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3.77 avg rating — 22 ratings — published 2018 — 4 editions
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Occupy Finance

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3.89 avg rating — 9 ratings — published 2013
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Weapons of Math Destruction...

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really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 3 ratings
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“Big Data processes codify the past. They do not invent the future. Doing that requires moral imagination, and that’s something only humans can provide. We have to explicitly embed better values into our algorithms, creating Big Data models that follow our ethical lead. Sometimes that will mean putting fairness ahead of profit.”
Cathy O'Neil, Weapons of Math Destruction: How Big Data Increases Inequality and Threatens Democracy

“Here we see that models, despite their reputation for impartiality, reflect goals and ideology. When I removed the possibility of eating Pop-Tarts at every meal, I was imposing my ideology on the meals model. It’s something we do without a second thought. Our own values and desires influence our choices, from the data we choose to collect to the questions we ask. Models are opinions embedded in mathematics.”
Cathy O'Neil, Weapons of Math Destruction: How Big Data Increases Inequality and Threatens Democracy

“At the federal level, this problem could be greatly alleviated by abolishing the Electoral College system. It's the winner-take-all mathematics from state to state that delivers so much power to a relative handful of voters. It's as if in politics, as in economics, we have a privileged 1 percent. And the money from the financial 1 percent underwrites the microtargeting to secure the votes of the political 1 percent. Without the Electoral College, by contrast, every vote would be worth exactly the same. That would be a step toward democracy.”
Cathy O'Neil, Weapons of Math Destruction: How Big Data Increases Inequality and Threatens Democracy

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