Quote of the day: Prejudice engines

In the schools fiasco, the exam authorities, such as Ofqual in England and the Scottish Qualifications Authority, were apparently told that the primary concern was to prevent grade inflation. Once politicians had made that choice, then blaming the algorithm for producing the wrong political answer is little more than refusing to accept responsibility for one’s judgment.

Kenan Malik

2 thoughts on “Quote of the day: Prejudice engines

    1. Absolutely.

      I think there is a broader point as well, which is that people often try to offload responsibility for their decisions onto “the algorithm”, as if represents some objective outcome.

      We need to bear in mind that someone specified what the algorithm should do, someone wrote it and someone tested it and, at every step of the way, people made decisions. And any prejudices or ill-considered assumptions on the part of the developers will be reflected in the output.

      Politicians — and others — should not be able to dodge responsibility when an algorithm does what they asked it to do.

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