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Weapons of Math Destruction: How Big Data Increases Inequality and Threatens Democracy

Weapons of Math Destruction: How Big Data Increases Inequality and Threatens Democracy Business Economics Vol. 52, No. 2 ª National Association for Business Economics Book Review Weapons of Math Destruction: How scouted ‘‘free lunches’’ (arbitrages) turned out to be expensive, with a sudden appearance of risk premia Big Data Increases Inequality and such as previously unseen high borrowing costs. From Threatens Democracy believing that quants were helping markets to be efficient, she goes on to seeing them as contributing to market fragility via bad models. What turns a model from merely a bad representation of reality to a By Cathy O’Neil. Crown Publishing Group. weapon of math destruction (in her terminology) is the Pp. 259. $26.00 hardcover opaqueness of inputs to the subjects of the model, vast scale of application, and the absence of a self-cor- Business Economics (2017) 52, 123–125. recting feedback loop, which results in models’ out- doi:10.1057/s11369-017-0027-3 comes only justifying their assumptions rather than improving them. A good example of the many stories in the book is how the U.S. News algorithm that begun as an effort athy O’Neil is a quant, and her experience to quantitatively capture what made Harvard, Stanford C comes across in her entertaining book ‘‘Weap- and other established schools elite in the 1980s, http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Business Economics Springer Journals

Weapons of Math Destruction: How Big Data Increases Inequality and Threatens Democracy

Business Economics , Volume 52 (2): 3 – Apr 1, 2017

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Publisher
Springer Journals
Copyright
2017 National Association for Business Economics
ISSN
0007-666X
eISSN
1554-432X
DOI
10.1057/s11369-017-0027-3
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Business Economics Vol. 52, No. 2 ª National Association for Business Economics Book Review Weapons of Math Destruction: How scouted ‘‘free lunches’’ (arbitrages) turned out to be expensive, with a sudden appearance of risk premia Big Data Increases Inequality and such as previously unseen high borrowing costs. From Threatens Democracy believing that quants were helping markets to be efficient, she goes on to seeing them as contributing to market fragility via bad models. What turns a model from merely a bad representation of reality to a By Cathy O’Neil. Crown Publishing Group. weapon of math destruction (in her terminology) is the Pp. 259. $26.00 hardcover opaqueness of inputs to the subjects of the model, vast scale of application, and the absence of a self-cor- Business Economics (2017) 52, 123–125. recting feedback loop, which results in models’ out- doi:10.1057/s11369-017-0027-3 comes only justifying their assumptions rather than improving them. A good example of the many stories in the book is how the U.S. News algorithm that begun as an effort athy O’Neil is a quant, and her experience to quantitatively capture what made Harvard, Stanford C comes across in her entertaining book ‘‘Weap- and other established schools elite in the 1980s,

Journal

Business EconomicsSpringer Journals

Published: Apr 1, 2017

References