Algorithms as a way to avoid conversation

“My observation is that these algorithms — they don’t show up randomly. They show up when there’s a really difficult conversation that people want to avoid. Like, ‘We don’t know what makes a good teacher, and different people have different opinions about that, so let’s just bypass this conversation by having an algorithm score teachers.’ Or: ‘We don’t know what prison is really for, you know? Let’s have a way of deciding how long to sentence somebody.’ We introduce these ‘silver bullet’ mathematical algorithms because we don’t want to have a conversation.”

-Cathy O’Neil (via 99% Invisible)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.