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A Summary of

Algorithms are Gods

by
Mario Gabriele
The Generalist
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TL;DR

Deus Ex Machina in tech:

  • Companies insert God into the machine
  • Uber built a God view, allowing users to view passengers’ movements
  • Google’s founder said “the perfect search engine would be like the mind of God”
  • Now, the machine is God; ruling our lives and influencing decisions

Biased Algorithms

  • Algorithms influence our decisions
  • Amazon’s algorithm influences a third of what we buy, Netflix’s 80% of what we watch
  • Technology and algorithms are biased against women and minorities
  • Crime software COMPAS is biased against African-Americans
  • Healthcare and mortgage technology are biased against minorities

Solutions

  • Working towards adjusting our expectations about algorithms
  • Increasing diversity of data leads to less biased outcomes
  • Realizing algorithms are inherently flawed
  • Working towards justice in tech without shutting down innovation
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