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Weapons of Math Destruction

Cathy O’Neil has coined the term Weapons of Math Destruction (WMD) which she uses to refer to harmful sta- tistical models. A former analyst, Cathy O’Neil points out the impact WMD have on our daily lives: getting to university, borrowing money, rating a professor and, most importantly, the need to con- stantly monitor the relevance and clarity of the development of the algorithms used. WMD are the mathematical appli- cations that feed data economics and O’Neil argues that they are responsi- ble for spectacular progress, but also for oppressing the most disadvantaged while making the rich richer. The issue with these applications is that they are based on choices made by fallible people and on parameters that do not take into account exceptions, unforeseen events or the human element. The author is leading a crusade against the misuse of this data.

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