Science Friday: How Imperfect Data Leads Us Astray

Science Friday: How Imperfect Data Leads Us Astray. “Datasets are increasingly shaping important decisions, from where companies target their advertising, to how governments allocate resources. But what happens when the data they rely on is wrong or incomplete? Ira talks to technologist Kasia Chmielinski, as they test drive an algorithm that predicts a person’s race or ethnicity based on just a few details, like their name and zip code, the Bayseian Improved Surname Geocoding algorithm (BISG). You can check out one of the models they used here. The BISG is frequently used by government agencies and corporations alike to fill in missing race and ethnicity data—except it often guesses wrong, with potentially far-reaching effects.” A podcast with transcript available.

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