DataKnightmare: The Algorithmic Is Political

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DataKnightmare: The Algorithmic Is Political

The bi-monthly podcast on the dark side of data. If you are listening, you are the resistance.

Hello, fellow data-skeptic. I'm Walter Vannini, the DataKnightmare.

Thank you for considering a donation.

Have you noticed how not a single day passes without some wild claim from some data-science or AI startup? Have you noticed how the wilder is the claim, the more funding it gets?

Well, I'm an IT guy and a data nerd and I can tell you two things: - quite often there's very little science in data-science - the issue is not AI, but what powerful crooks and idiots can do with it

Algorithms are commercial secrets who manage our page rank, our interest rates, our presence in a list of potential terrorists. For what we know, they may be deciding by tossing coins or by playing strip poker. As of now, we have zero control on this.

Some say we should change course. I am one of those.

I blog and podcast on the dark side of the data society from Italy, a remote province of the Empire.

I choose to use a simple, straightforward language because the algorithmic is political and society as a whole must be able to understand the issues, while too often jargon is used to make plain bullshit sound scientific and objective (cfr. most "AI can ...")

My English podcast is rather new, by my Italian one has a good reception so I think a wider public may be interested in: - when wild guesstimates are being sold as "scientifc" - bias and prejudice objectified in software - those who thrive with illicit practices behind technology "too new to regulate" and "too big to regulate" (2008, anyone?)

So, here's my plan: for all those interested, I will explain in plain, simple language (as simple as possible, but not simpler) these strange algorithms that are getting so much power over our lives.

I would really like you to join me.

Because if you are listening, you are the resistance.

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