Weapons of Math Destruction: How Big Data Increases Inequality and Threatens Democracy by
Cathy O'Neil, 259 pages.
O'Neil, who has worked as a Quant on Wall Street, as an academic, and as data scientist for many start-ups shows how big data can be and is used used in a manner that reinforces unfounded assumptions about people with fewer resources and often ends up oppressing those who most need help. In education, college recruitment, bank loans, employment, and advertising the data collected about an individual, no matter how precise or refined, can be used against that individual when the underlying premises about what the data means are flawed. O'Neil calls for using the data in a way that helps people instead of having the whole data machine aimed at maximizing profits.
An engaging and thought-provoking look at an omnipresent issue.