Automating Inequality (inbunden)
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Automating Inequality (inbunden)

Automating Inequality

How High-Tech Tools Profile, Police, and Punish the Poor

Inbunden Engelska, 2018-09-11
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In Indiana, one million people lose their healthcare, food stamps, and cash benefits in three years-because a new computer system interprets any application mistake as "failure to cooperate." In Los Angeles, an algorithm calculates the comparative vulnerability of tens of thousands of homeless people in order to prioritize them for a shrinking pool of housing resources. In Pittsburgh, a child welfare agency uses a statistical model to try to predict which children might be future victims of abuse or neglect. Since the dawn of the digital age, decision-making in finance, employment, politics, health and human services has undergone revolutionary change. Today, automated systems control which neighborhoods get policed, which families attain resources, and who is investigated for fraud. While we all live under this new regime of data, the most invasive and punitive systems are aimed at the poor.
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"Required reading for the modern age, Automating Inequality explains through beautifully rendered individual stories and deeply researched historical analysis why we must remain vigilant and skeptical of the promises of artificial intelligence fed to us by those who stand to gain from their adoption." --Cathy O'Neil, New York Times bestselling author of Weapons of Math Destruction "[Automating Inequality's] argument is that the use of automated decision-making in social service programs creates a "digital poorhouse" that perpetuates the kinds of negative moral judgments that have always been attached to poverty in America...Eubanks proposes a Hippocratic oath for data scientists, whereby they would vow to respect all people and to not compound patterns of discrimination." --The New York Review of Books "Riveting (an accomplishment for a book on technology and policy). Its argument should be widely circulated, to poor people, social service workers and policymakers, but also throughout the professional classes. Everyone needs to understand that technology is no substitute for justice." --The New York Times Book Review "A brilliant book about how we penalize poverty. It would make a great pairing with Evicted." --Barbara Fister, Inside Higher Ed "An important book." --Pacific Standard "Investigates three experiments in which algorithms are replacing or augmenting human decision-making in public assistance." --Jacobin Magazine "Eubanks ably demonstrates why everyone should be very, very worried about the present and future of poverty management. Along with the personalized stories, her data exposes the political will, the ease of establishment and the ripe soil for letting cold math take our deepest biases and, in effect, render them into invisible cages for the most vulnerable." --NY Daily News "Eubanks's ability to combine beautiful biographic storytelling with keen observation and criticism makes this an indispensable addition to the literature on what Cathy O'Neil calls Weapons of Math Destruction" --Cory Doctorow, Boing Boing "To call the stories and data Eubanks has collected infuriating feels like an understatement...marginalized people are often the first to face experiments in assessment and punishment through technological tools. ..What's incisive about Automating Inequality is how it underscores the subtle ways technology is used to this end." --New Republic "Powerful..." --The Progressive "Eubanks takes a hard look at some of the seemingly agnostic--and even well-meaning technologies--that promise to make the U.S. welfare apparatus well-oiled and efficient." --CityLab "Compelling." --Kronket Media "Computing has long been perceived to be a culture-free zone--this needs to change. But change will only occur when policymakers and voters understand the true scale of the problem. This is hard when we live in an era that likes to celebrate digitisation--and where the elites are usually shielded from the consequences of those algorithms. Except, of course, when random accidents occur. In that sense, Eubanks' tale is a chilling lesson to us all." --The Financial Times "[A] must read...On par with Barbara Ehrenreich's Nickel and Dimed or Matthew Desmond's Evicted. It's rigorously researched, phenomenally accessible, and utterly humbling. While there are a lot of important books that touch on the costs and consequences of technology through case studies and well-reasoned logic, this book is the first one that I've read that really pulls you into the world of algorithmic decision-making and inequality, like a good ethnography should." --danah boyd, author of It's Complicated "Eubanks says we manage the poor so we don't have to eradicate poverty....Eubanks explores three very different and widely separated approaches to managing, manipulating and controlling the

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Virginia Eubanks is an Associate Professor of Political Science at the University at Albany, SUNY. She is the author of Digital Dead End: Fighting for Social Justice in the Information Age and co-editor, with Alethia Jones, of Ain't Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Around: Forty Years of Movement Building with Barbara Smith. Her writing about technology and social justice has appeared in Scientific American, The Nation, Harper's, and Wired. For two decades, Eubanks has worked in community technology and economic justice movements. She lives in Troy, NY.