Data Analytics [DA] and Machine Learning [ML] are structured, quantitative approaches to answering difficult questions about datasets. The promise of DA and ML is that the insights gained about the world can be much more complex than those which can be found by humans, and also that those insights will be free of human bias. This essay will focus on the second promise, the total objectivity of DA/ML. It has long been recognized that the outcomes of DA/ML can vary significantly depending on the choice of methodology, which already strikes a blow to the claims of objectivity. However, lately a more fundamental problem has emerged — the data used for DA/ML often contains human biases and DA/ML performed on such data replicates them.
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Topics: data analysis, ai, bias, discrimination, data analytics, machine learning, proxy variables