TECHNOLOGY

The Ethical Algorithm: The Science of Socially Aware Algorithm Design

Oxford Univ. Nov. 2019. 256p. index. ISBN 9780190948207. $24.95. TECH
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Both Kearns and Roth, professors of computer and information science at the University of Pennsylvania, who have written extensively on algorithms and data science, here do a thorough job of explaining the science of algorithm design and the ethical and inherent technical difficulties in doing so. College admissions and employment application models, dating and navigational apps, all use algorithms that, when properly coded, provide fair, ethical, unbiased results that protect individuals’ privacy. As Kearns and Roth explain, and as has been shown in real-life examples such as Facebook's privacy breaches, this is not always simple. The useful final section contains a list of references and further readings for each chapter.
VERDICT A solid introduction to complex issues for general readers without a technical background. Practitioners or computer science students will need to look elsewhere for more technical advice.

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