Murtaza 's Reviews > Weapons of Math Destruction: How Big Data Increases Inequality and Threatens Democracy

Weapons of Math Destruction by Cathy O'Neil
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A short and concise overview of the problems being wrought by the algorithms that are now quietly governing our society. While the overview is useful, I was a bit surprised at how little new information that there was in here. The issues that she raises should be familiar to anyone who has been following the impact of Big Data in even a cursory way. Facebook news bubbles, insurance profiles and other common phenomena are the main examples she uses. I did appreciate the social justice focus of the book, which makes sense given that the author is a former hedge fund analyst disenchanted by the malign behavior that she witnessed on Wall Street.

One key takeaway is that it there is a drive for poor and middle class people to have their lives processed by algorithms, while the rich will continue to depend on real-life personal connections to get by. In effect the masses are being turned into raw numbers with scores attached, while a small elite will continue to be authentic "personalities" who live in the more nuanced way.

This book lays out some of the ways to fight back against opaque algorithmic power and make these algorithms more fair. A solid overview but nothing groundbreaking.
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Reading Progress

January 7, 2018 – Shelved
January 7, 2018 – Shelved as: to-read
January 19, 2018 – Started Reading
January 20, 2018 – Finished Reading

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message 1: by Shimelis (new) - added it

Shimelis Bekele @Murtaza
I believe you touched the core idea of the book more precisely. Appreciate your review. Keep it up !!!


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