A great article by Steven Poole.
He highlights what Turnkey readers are slowing learning via our Models vs. Experts series:
Speaking to the evidence that models beat experts in determining repeat offenders:
In Baltimore and Philadelphia, software is already being used to predict which prisoners will re-offend if released. The software works on a crime database, and variables including geographic location, type of crime previously committed, and age of prisoner at previous offence. In so doing, according to a report in Wired in January this year, ‘The software aims to replace the judgments parole officers already make based on a parolee’s criminal record.
But computers can’t enjoy and understand books like expert critics? …wrong.
In the early days of Amazon, the company employed a panel of book critics, whose job was to recommend books to customers. When Amazon developed its algorithmic recommendation engine — an automated system based on data about what others had bought — sales shot up. So Amazon sacked the humans.
Need a psychotherapist?
A new wave of smartphone apps with eccentric titular orthography (iStress, myinstantCOACH, MoodKit, BreakkUp) promise a psychotherapist in your pocket. Thus far they are not very intelligent, and require the user to do most of the work — though this second drawback could be said of many human counselors too.
Anyway, a fascinating article.
When are you eating humble pie and joining the algorithm-based decision-making revolution?
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