The Data is Always Lying: How to Distinguish Insight From Snake Oil

2017 Symposium

Patrick Ball

2017 Symposium

July 10, 2017
Experts Workshop

The Data is Always Lying: How to Distinguish Insight From Snake Oil

A lightning talk from the Rights & Liberties session of the 2017 Experts Workshop given by Patrick Ball (Human Rights Data Analysis Group).

This talk looks at how Data + algorithms = models, and with models, machines can predict outcomes: where are clandestine graves hidden in Mexico? Which parts of a city are likely to have crimes reported next week? But the models emerged from data, to our disappointment, sampling bias in the data may limit what the models are predicting. This talk will offer five questions to pose to a proponent of a new predictive model to help figure out if we can learn something from the model, or if a charlatan is selling us snake oil.

Topics
Rights & Liberties