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Cathy O'Neil

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Wednesday, February 5, 2020 - 12:39pm
Friends, I’m writing today to announce that I’m hard at work on a new book, called:   Shame Machine an owner’s manual   It’s once again being written with my editor Amanda Cook at the publisher Crown Random House, just like Weapons of Math Destruction. The tentative release date is January 2021, after the next […]
Tuesday, January 28, 2020 - 10:36am
Guys I’m super proud of this Sex Robots essay I wrote for Boston Review:   A History of Cyborg Sex, 2018–73    
Tuesday, January 28, 2020 - 10:36am
My newest Bloomberg Opinion piece just came out: Amazon Can’t Fix Facial Recognition Companies lack incentives to stop the creepiness. See the rest of my Bloomberg Opinion pieces here.
Tuesday, January 28, 2020 - 10:36am
My newest Bloomberg Opinion piece just came out: Amazon Can’t Fix Facial Recognition Companies lack incentives to stop the creepiness. See the rest of my Bloomberg Opinion pieces here.
Tuesday, January 21, 2020 - 4:36pm
I registered for this year’s Joint Math Meeting by claiming to be Press so I think it’s only fair that I blog from the conference. I got here Wednesday, met up with my BFF Aaron Abrams, and we promptly dashed to a fancypants reception to meet up with my buddy Ken Ribet. And yes, both of […]
Tuesday, January 21, 2020 - 4:36pm
I registered for this year’s Joint Math Meeting by claiming to be Press so I think it’s only fair that I blog from the conference. I got here Wednesday, met up with my BFF Aaron Abrams, and we promptly dashed to a fancypants reception to meet up with my buddy Ken Ribet. And yes, both of […]
Monday, January 20, 2020 - 5:34pm
I wanted to share my words from my dad’s memorial this past weekend, which took place at UMass Boston. You can read his official obituary here.   10 silver linings of having an asshole father   When I met Larry Summers at the hedge fund he was known as a pushy, physically imposing and intellectually […]
Monday, January 20, 2020 - 5:34pm
I wanted to share my words from my dad’s memorial this past weekend, which took place at UMass Boston. You can read his official obituary here.   10 silver linings of having an asshole father   When I met Larry Summers at the hedge fund he was known as a pushy, physically imposing and intellectually […]
Wednesday, November 20, 2019 - 2:37pm
My newest Bloomberg Opinion column just came out, about the international competition for AI dominance: Want To See Your Dystopian Future? Look at China The U.S. needs to stand against the surveillance state.   See the rest of my columns here.
Saturday, August 31, 2019 - 10:32am
Dude! No seriously, dude. I just spent a week on Star Island. Actually, I got back exactly a week ago but it’s taken me this long to recover from the lost sleep. In case you haven’t heard of it, Star Island is tiny island off the coast of New Hampshire that has been operated by […]
Saturday, August 31, 2019 - 10:32am
Dude! No seriously, dude. I just spent a week on Star Island. Actually, I got back exactly a week ago but it’s taken me this long to recover from the lost sleep. In case you haven’t heard of it, Star Island is tiny island off the coast of New Hampshire that has been operated by […]
Friday, June 14, 2019 - 12:12pm
  Hey! I’ve been kind of hibernating but this week I got so riled up about some incredibly terrible facial recognition stuff going on in China that I wrote a Bloomberg piece:   China Knows How to Take Away Your Health Insurance A big Chinese insurer’s facial-recognition software offers a cautionary tale for the U.S. […]
Saturday, June 8, 2019 - 10:50am
One of the ways I want to understand the power and dynamics of shame as a social mechanism is by comparing and contrasting how shame works with the other forces that play similar roles but that we are much more aware of. Today I’ll start thinking about that with respect to market forces, and more […]
Friday, June 7, 2019 - 9:46am
    Dear Readers,   You’ve been killing it with the amazing comments and I don’t know why it took me so long to get back to blogging. I love you all. So what I realized soon after posting my last blog is that I didn’t sufficiently set the table for a discussion about group shame. […]
Tuesday, June 4, 2019 - 11:36am
  Dear Blog readers,   I’m kind of stuck in my new book about shame, so at the advice of my BFF Laura I’m writing a good old fashioned blog post  – or perhaps many! – to try to get through some sticky topics. I hope it helps! And I know you all are rooting […]
Tuesday, June 4, 2019 - 11:36am
  Dear Blog readers,   I’m kind of stuck in my new book about shame, so at the advice of my BFF Laura I’m writing a good old fashioned blog post  – or perhaps many! – to try to get through some sticky topics. I hope it helps! And I know you all are rooting […]
Friday, May 12, 2017 - 4:36pm

Israeli historian Yuval Harari is getting a lot of attention with a dramatic vision of the future, in which humans merge with technology to evolve beyond themselves and ultimately colonize outer space -- potentially making our generation one of the last of Homo Sapiens.

I'm hoping this is more of a cautionary tale than a roadmap for the development of our species.

Harari is a book-writing rock star, whose volume "Sapiens" won praise from the likes of Barack Obama and Bill Gates. In his follow-up, "Homo Deus," he makes a lot of speculative statements in a way...

Wednesday, April 5, 2017 - 2:40pm

Graphics courtesy of meta-chart.com

My buddy Brian Conrad alerted me yesterday to a very welcome three-way intersection:

So, anyone surprised? I’m not. But I am excited. Here’s what we’ve got on Ravelry:

 

Screen Shot 2017-04-05 at 9.18.17 AM

Tuesday, February 14, 2017 - 11:28am

Maybe it’s not so bad to have algorithmic overlords -- at least when they are pressured into protecting people rather than exploiting them.

Earlier this week, Facebook declared that it will no longer let certain kinds of advertisers engage in racial profiling. Specifically, it will prohibit credit, housing, and employment advertisers from using “ethnic affinity” categories -- marketing profiles that correlate strongly with race -- in deciding whom to exclude from their audience.

The reform didn’t happen out of the blue. Pressure came first from a ProPublica investigative experiment last October, in which the news organization successfully submitted to Facebook a housing advertisement...

Friday, January 6, 2017 - 9:51am

Yesterday I wrote a post about the unsurprising discriminatory nature of recidivism models. Today I want to add to that post with an important goal in mind: we should fix recidivism models, not trash them altogether.

The truth is, the current justice system is fundamentally unfair, so 

Cathy O'Neil is the author of the blog mathbabe.org and several books, including Weapons of Math Destruction.