The Curly Fry Conundrum

The curly fry conundrum: Why social media “likes” say more than you might think
TEDxMidAtlantic, October 2013
http://www.ted.com/talks/jennifer_golbeck_the_curly_fry_conundrum_why_social_media_likes_say_more_than_you_might_think

Because You Liked Chemistry, …

Because You Liked Chemistry, We Recommend These Classes
December 18, 2013
http://www.npr.org/sections/alltechconsidered/2013/12/18/255298799/because-you-liked-chemistry-we-recommend-these-classes

The same kind of technology that recommends movies on Netflix or purchases on Amazon is now helping students choose college courses.

A new program developed on a campus in Tennessee uses predictive analytics to suggest classes

the outcomes have turned heads, from the White House to Bill Gates, whose foundation pitched in startup funding.

college isn’t about finding the easiest path, but about broadening your horizons and challenging yourself. Denley says, sure — for some.
“But there is a real sense in which academic curiosity is a luxury that lots of people simply cannot afford,” he says.

Desire2Learn, which already works with dozens of universities around the globe, has licensed Degree Compass http://www.d2l.com/products/degree-compass for its profit potential. CEO John Baker won’t say exactly how much he’s charging colleges

Fortune-Tellers, Step Aside

Fortune-Tellers, Step Aside: Big Data Looks For Future Entrepreneurs
October 5, 2014
http://www.npr.org/sections/alltechconsidered/2014/10/05/351851015/fortune-tellers-step-aside-big-data-looks-for-future-entrepreneurs

one firm is taking things one step further (or, actually, backward) by using an algorithm to try to find entrepreneurs before they even start a company.

Roy Bahat leads the venture capital firm Bloomberg Beta, which launched in June of last year.

we’ll see an even greater use of predictive analytics soon. “I am a believer that the things that we see in science fiction will eventually come to pass,” he says — think Minority Report and Gattaca.

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

Bias detectives: the researchers striving to make algorithms fair
As machine learning infiltrates society, scientists are trying to help ward off injustice.
20 June 2018
https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-018-05469-3

Anticipatory computing

Computers That Know What You Need, Before You Ask
March 17, 2014
http://www.npr.org/blogs/alltechconsidered/2014/03/17/290125070/computers-that-know-what-you-need-before-you-ask

artificial intelligence is getting even smarter.
The next wave of behavior-changing computing is a technology called anticipatory computing — systems that learn to predict what you need, even before you ask.