Algorithms: some natural, neutral world

What Makes Algorithms Go Awry?
June 07, 2015
http://www.npr.org/sections/alltechconsidered/2015/06/07/412481743/what-makes-algorithms-go-awry

algorithms, like humans, can make mistakes.
Last month, users found the photo-sharing site Flickr’s new image-recognition technology was labeling dark-skinned people as “apes”

How to limit human bias in computer programs
We can test it under many different scenarios. We can look at the results and see if there’s discrimination patterns. In the same way that we try to judge decision-making in many fields, when the decision making is done by humans, we should apply a similar critical lens — but with a computational bent to it, too.

The fear I have is that every time this is talked about, people talk about it as if it’s math or physics, therefore some natural, neutral world. And they’re programs! They’re complex programs.
They’re not like laws of physics or laws of nature. They’re created by us. We should look into what they do and not let them do everything. We should make those decisions explicitly.

related:
May 14, 2012
https://franzcalvo.wordpress.com/2015/03/09/algorithms-extending-the-power-of-the-human-mind

Dec 20, 2012
https://franzcalvo.wordpress.com/2013/12/25/big-data-has-spawned-a-cult-of-infallibility

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2 thoughts on “Algorithms: some natural, neutral world

  1. Pingback: Algorithms: extending the power of the human mind | franzcalvo

  2. Pingback: Big Data has spawned a cult of infallibility | franzcalvo

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