Far Too Often, Big Data is Bad Data

Bob Sullivan, Cybercrime & Consumer Tech Advisor, and Justin Sherman, Co-Founder & Vice President, wrote for Real Clear Policy about the problem with a “big data” mentality.

Big, sloppy datasets have reinforced prejudice, engendered black boxes, and contributed to flawed systems: recidivism predictors that recommend discriminately longer prison sentences for black convicts, chatbots that learn how to be racist and misogynistic in less than 24 hours, cameras that think Asians are always blinking, photo apps that label black people as gorillas, search engines that show men as CEOs at higher rates than women — the list goes on and on. (It has even been suggested that searching for “black names” will show ads for criminal background checks.)

Still, many fall for the seduction that data itself is infallible. It’s not. That insight is hardly new, but it’s a lesson humans need to keep learning over and over.

Read the full article here.