Machine Bias – The Algorithm Made Me Do It

Algorithms are a set of rules or calculations that computers use in making decisions. Unlike neural network programs, which often are too complex for its programmers to understand (implicit), explicit algorithms are code that can be understood. Algorithms are everywhere and have become the topic of an on-going series by Pro Publica. Pro Publica series began by concentrating on a program written to advise courts on recidivism. But given the ubiquitous nature of algorithms, they have moved on to look at what big data and it’s algorithms know about you from Facebook and Amazon. As a health professional, I wanted to consider algorithms applied to medical care. A trusted source, federal government’s Agency for Healthcare and Research documented 17,000 algorithms and programs as long ago as 2011. Today a quick…

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