Data & Society > our work > Points > Sausage, politics, and data predictions?

points | 10.31.16

Sausage, politics, and data predictions?

Anne L. Washington

D&S fellow Anne L. Washington published a Points piece responding to Cathy O’Neil’s Weapons of Math Destruction.

Complex models with high stakes require rigorous periodic taste tests. Unfortunately most organizations using big data analytics have no mechanism for feedback because the models are used in secrecy.

Producing predictions, like making sausage, is currently an obscure practice. If botulism spreads, someone should be able to identify the supply chain that produced it. Since math is the factory that produces the sausage that is data science, some form of reasoning should be leveraged to communicate the logic behind predictions.

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