We live in the age of the algorithm. Increasingly, companies use mathematical models to make decisions for everything from sorting CVs to granting mortgages, targeting voters to monitoring health. Most people think mathematical modelling is objective, because they are intimidated by math and because they trust numbers. In fact, Cathy O’Neil argues, algorithms are increasing inequality and threatening democracy.
Cathy O’Neil is the first person to explore how Big Data is being used to discriminate against people based on income, race and class. In this urgent, revealing and terrifying book, O’Neil shows that the algorithms we use are opaque and unregulated, even when they’re wrong. As more and more of our lives are handled by computers, what can we do to stop ourselves falling victim to these unaccountable and under regulated systems?