Cathy O'Neil. (Contributed)

Free presentation to discuss how algorithms decide our fates

Metro Wire Staff

A data expert will offer a free presentation at UW-Stevens Point that explains how algorithms decide our fate.

According to Cathy O’Neil, some of the biggest moments of our lives are decided by algorithms—who gets the job, who gets into college, which dating candidates are available, or which social media ads pop up.

O’Neil is a New York Times best-selling author and data expert. Her presentation, “Algorithms Don’t Predict the Future, They Cause the Future” will be held from 7-8:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 29 in the Dreyfus University Center Laird Room or online by Zoom webinar.

In her talk, O’Neil will discuss the bias inherent in these algorithms, raise awareness of how our lives are impacted, and how you can opt-out. A book signing will follow the event featuring O’Neil’s book, “Weapons of Math Destruction: How Big Data Increases Inequality and Threatens Democracy.”

Limited copies will be available at the University Store and Text Rental until 9 p.m. on March 29.

O’Neil is the founder/CEO of ORCAA, an algorithmic auditing company, a member of the Public Interest Tech Lab at the Harvard Kennedy School, and a regular contributor to Bloomberg Opinion. Her new book, “The Shame Machine: Who Profits in the New Age of Humiliation,” will be released later this month.

She has been a professor at Barnard College and worked for the hedge fund D.E. Shaw and for Risk Metrics. In 2013 she co-wrote “Doing Data Science,” and in 2014 she launched a program in data journalism at Columbia University. She holds a Ph.D. in mathematics from Harvard University and was a postdoctoral student in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology mathematics department.

The talk is funded by the Tommy G. Thompson Center on Public Leadership at UW-Madison and sponsored by UW-Stevens Point’s Center for Inclusive Teaching and Learning, the Inclusive Excellence Institute, and JusticeWorks.

Register to attend the event at www.uwsp.edu/citl/Pages/CathyONeil.aspx.