Automating Inequality: How High-Tech Tools Profile, Police, and Punish the Poor
Naomi Klein: "This book is downright scary."
Ethan Zuckerman, MIT: "Should be required reading."
Dorothy Roberts, author of Killing the Black Body: "A must-read for everyone concerned about modern tools of inequality in America."
Astra Taylor, author of The People's Platform: "This is the single most important book about technology you will read this year."
More lists with this book...
If among you, one of your brothers should become poor, in any of your towns within your land that the Lord your God is giving you, you shall not harden your heart or shut your hand against your poor brother, but you shall open your hand to him and lend him sufficient for his need, whatever it may be … For the poor you will always have with you in the land. Therefore I command you, ‘You shall open wide your hand to your brother, to the needy and to the poor, in your land.’ - (Deuteronomy 15:7-1...more
This book shows that right-wing nasty bastards not only hate people who ...more
A billion souls have been freed from abject poverty in the last 25 years bc of free market capitalism.
90% of those in poverty have one or more of these three conditions: jobless, no high school diploma, illegitimate children.
If one avoids the above conditions there’s a 75% chance that person will make over $50k.
America’s war on poverty that started in ‘65 has not changed the poverty rate;however, from 1948 - 1965 it fell from 38% to 15%.
Eubanks bemoans how Big Data ...more
Policing is broader than law enforcement: it includes all the process by which we maintain order, regulate lives, and press young people into boxes so they will fit our unjust society
These processes are the algorithms and meaningless indexes that are automating public assistance delivery in the US. With three case studies: the automation of Indiana's welfare eligibility, an index that decides which homeless person deserves the LA's attention and predictive tool for child protection services ...more
Notwithstanding what the French wrote on the Statue of Liberty, America hates its poor. It will spend billions to deny them help. In Automating Inequality, Virginia Eubanks says we manage the poor so we don’t have to eradicate poverty. Instead, we have developed a Digital Poorhouse – high tech containment of the poor and recording of their every action, association and activity. The great innovation today is the prediction model, using the child, the parents, neigh ...more
Everyone w ...more
Remember, kids, when it comes to technology, programmers have been saying it for years. Garbage in, garbage out. In this case the garbage-in is all of the embedded inequalities of American life, whether that's racism, sexism, whatever, or just little simple things like a social worker's reaction to the appearance of a working-class versus a middle-class home. Automate, ...more
I kept took some notes while reading and would love to discuss this book w anyone who is curious. To be completely honest, this book did deflate my hope a bit about using machine learning for social good for various reasons.
1) Automated systems and ML will not solve the root cause of social problems.
Eubanks argues that using automated systems to optimally allocate resources doesn't really solve the root social issues and worse, distracts fr ...more
If you're a researcher or practitioner who wants to create new methods for evaluating risks, prioritizing benefits, or similar applications, read this first. It is a great analysis grounded on the study of three key cases in the US, but from which you can draw general conclusions and guidelines. ...more
I rated this 4 stars because I wanted t ...more
Automating Inequality is an okay read about how data is collected for them, but to me, it's just a matter of organization. There's one case that wasn't so much how data collection ruined the homeless people of Los Angeles but rather how the demand for housing overwhelmed supply. The last two chapters felt like high school essays about the principles of Bills of Rights and justice for all...a ...more
I want to give a special mention to the “Oath of Non-Harm for an Age of Big Data”. Everyone working in government, technology, or really anywhere should have a copy of this sitting on their desk.
She explains how in Indiana, reducing costs by implementing
The comparison of today’s methodologies to the county poor house/farm is fascinating. Leading to today’s “digital poorhouse.”
Working with healthcare plans with their automated systems helps me to understand the depth of the mire c ...more
If you're interested in this intersection of poverty/tech/inequality, I'd also recom ...more
But only the poor lived in the common dorms of the county poorhouse. Only the poor were put under the diagnostic microscope of scientific clarity. Today, we all live among the digital traps we have laid for the destitute.”