You are here

Cathy O'Neil

Content Written by Author

Tuesday, December 5, 2017 - 5:05pm
I’ll be giving a talk at Tufts on Thursday. Here’s the poster, please join me:   Also I’ll be in D.C. on Friday morning to talk data science education with mucky-mucks. That will be livestreamed, or you can join in person as well. Here’s the poster:
Tuesday, December 5, 2017 - 5:05pm
I’ll be giving a talk at Tufts on Thursday. Here’s the poster, please join me:   Also I’ll be in D.C. on Friday morning to talk data science education with mucky-mucks. That will be livestreamed, or you can join in person as well. Here’s the poster:
Monday, December 4, 2017 - 5:05pm
I found out there’s going to be another Women’s March by – you guessed it – going to a yarn store and finding there’d been a run on pink yarn. Even better, there are going to be a ton of Women’s Marches in a ton of cities. Get knitting, folks! And mark your calendars for Saturday, […]
Thursday, November 30, 2017 - 11:35am

It’s easier to understand when you’ve got things right than exactly how you got things wrong. Therein lies an insight that could save a lot of lives.

Consider relationships. You can know whether you’re happy with your partner, but you can never be sure you shouldn’t have dated someone else entirely. Or say you own a company. Good and bad employees are easy to recognize: Some work hard and are happy, others shirk or quit soon after their expensive training ends. But it’s much harder to know whether you’ve passed over good candidates, because you never gave them a chance to prove themselves.

Thursday, November 30, 2017 - 11:35am
Bloomberg View My newest Bloomberg piece is out, in which I consider the problem of false negatives in the context of love and war: False Negatives Can Be a Matter of Life and Death Algorithms will repeat our mistakes unless we know what we’re missing. You can see all of my Bloomberg View pieces here. […]
Wednesday, November 15, 2017 - 11:35am

My newest Bloomberg View piece just came out this morning: Ray Dalio Has an Unbelievable Algorithm Does it merely reinforce its maker’s biases?   Looking back I just realized that I never posted last week’s Bloomberg View column: Maybe Facebook Is Broken: How can you stop people from sharing biased and misleading stuff?   For […]

Tuesday, November 14, 2017 - 5:05pm
I got my first op-ed in the NY Times today: The Ivory Tower Can’t Keep Ignoring Tech  
Tuesday, November 14, 2017 - 5:05pm
I got my first op-ed in the NY Times today: The Ivory Tower Can’t Keep Ignoring Tech  
Tuesday, October 31, 2017 - 11:35am
Well it’s been a bit more than 3 months since my gastric sleeve surgery and I wanted to give an update. Clothes I finished cleaning out my closet yesterday. All my old clothes are gone. I’m ashamed of just how many clothes I had to get rid of. I’ve gone from a size 24 to […]
Friday, October 20, 2017 - 11:35am

I was on WBUR’s Open Source with Christopher Lydon – a show I regularly listened to when I lived in Somerville – last night discussing Max Tegmark’s new book, Life 3.0. Other guests were Erik Brynjolfsson and Yarden Katz. Here’s the episode: Intelligence By Design

Friday, October 20, 2017 - 11:35am
I was on WBUR’s Open Source with Christopher Lydon – a show I regularly listened to when I lived in Somerville – last night discussing Max Tegmark’s new book, Life 3.0. Other guests were Erik Brynjolfsson and Yarden Katz. Here’s the episode: Intelligence By Design
Wednesday, October 4, 2017 - 5:10pm

Image: Maurizio Pesce

Have you heard? Someday we will live in a perfect society ruled by an omnipotent artificial intelligence, provably and utterly beneficial to mankind.

That is, if we don’t all die once the machines gain consciousness, take over, and kill us.

Wait, actually, they are going to take some of us with them, and we will transcend to another plane of existence. Or at least clones of us will. Or at least clones of us that are not being perpetually tortured for our current sins.

These are all outcomes that futurists of various stripes currently believe. A futurist is a person who spends a serious amount of time—either paid or unpaid—forming theories about society’s future.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017 - 5:10pm
I’m very happy with an essay that just came out this morning with Boston Review, on futurism: Know Thy Futurist Also, my newest Bloomberg View column came out this morning, about how we’re having the wrong conversation about personal data: The Equifax Hack Started the Wrong Conversation For the rest of my Bloomberg View columns, […]
Monday, September 25, 2017 - 11:35am
My latest Bloomberg View article is out. I interviewed Michal Kosinski, gaydar algorithm author, about the ethical responsibilities of data scientists: ‘Gaydar’ Shows How Creepy Algorithms Can Get Read my other Bloomberg View columns here.
Thursday, September 14, 2017 - 5:05pm
The paperback edition of my book just came out last week, so I’ve been on a tear with interviews, and I’m also doing two public events in New York City in the next week. I wanted to tell you about it in case you have time to come! I’ll be at the Brooklyn Book Festival […]
Wednesday, September 13, 2017 - 11:35am

My latest Bloomberg View column is out, in which I try to imagine an internet optimized for citizens rather than consumers: Facebook and Google, Show Us Your Ad Data   For other columns, take a look here.

Monday, September 11, 2017 - 11:35am
I have a new and disgusting if useful way of thinking about weight loss. You’re welcome in advance. A couple of weeks into the starvation diet and right after my surgery, I complained to my husband that all my weight loss – something like 20 pounds or so at the time – had been taken […]
Wednesday, September 6, 2017 - 11:35am
My newest Bloomberg View column just came out: We’re Losing the War on Opioids For older columns, click here.
Thursday, August 31, 2017 - 11:35am
So, I’m learning to eat again. Like a newborn child perhaps, but worse, since I have all sorts of memories of how much I can eat and what I like to eat that are misleading. A Bayesian prior that I can’t easily shake. Pescatarian For example, once I was cleared to eat ground meat, I […]
Wednesday, August 30, 2017 - 11:35am

Researchers and politicians are trying to make "black boxes" more accountable.

Computer algorithms play an increasingly important role in running the world -- filtering news, assessing prospective employees, even deciding when to set prisoners free. All too often, though, their creators don’t make them adequately accountable to the people whose lives they affect.

It’s thus good to see some researchers and politicians starting to do something about it.

 

Cathy O'Neil is the author of the blog mathbabe.org and several books, including Weapons of Math Destruction.