The Algorithms Around Us
Last month, California passed a bill ending the use of cash bail. Instead of waiting in jail or putting down a cash deposit to await trial at home, defendants are released after the pleadings. The catch? Not everyone gets this treatment. It’s not a judge who determines who should and shouldn’t be released; it’s an algorithm. Algorithms have also been used to figure out which incarcerated individuals should be released on parole.
Mathematician Hannah Fry and computer scientist Suresh Venkatasubramanian join Ira to discuss how algorithms are being used not only in the justice system, but in healthcare and data mining too. And this algorithmic takeover, they say, could have a dark side. You can read an excerpt from Hannah Fry’s forthcoming book, Hello World: Being Human in the Age of Algorithms here.
Suresh Venkatasubramanian is a Professor at the School of Computing at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Hannah Fry, Ph.D., is a lecturer in the Mathematics of Cities at the Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis at UCL, and is co-author of The Indisputable Existence of Santa Claus (The Overlook Press).