[Wrap up] Book Review: Hello World: Being Human in the Age of Algorithms

There’s an old African proverb that says “If you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” Big Data and artificial intelligence based on algorithms herald a new era of our people. Then what is the main role of humans in the age of algorithms? How can we go far with algorithms together? The author, Hannah Fry, considers the pros and cons of the age of algorithms through various examples. Also, the author provides a balanced view of the AI Utopia and Dystopia, enabling the readers to think about the real future.

This book is a modern version of the fable: “The lame man and the blind man.” The author emphasized that both algorithms and humans are flawed like the lame man and the blind man. Hence, we go together with algorithms for the better world. we try to use the power of algorithms properly. Then, what can we do? The author said in the last paragraph: “By questioning their decisions; scrutinizing their motives; acknowledging our emotions; demanding to know who stands to benefit; holding them accountable for their mistakes; and refusing to become complacent.”

The following links are some quotations from the book with my thoughts.

(1) Who Does Make It a Rule? Human? or Machine?

(2) Who Is our Future AI and What Is our Role?

(3) Digging Data in the New Wild West

(4) Can Artificial Intelligence Be the New Judge in the Future?

(5) As Algorithms Becoming Intelligent, We May Become Unintelligent

(6) Finding the Cause from the Effect in the Age of Big Data

(7) Can Algorithms Make a Way for Creativity?

[Wrap up] Book Review: Humble PI: A Comedy of Maths Errors

In our life, mathematics is very important for logical thinking based on evidence-based knowledge through rigorous mathematical analysis. Especially, when we predict something new, the power of mathematics overwhelms our instinct or heuristics. However, when using mathematics improperly, catastrophic results are waiting for us. In this book, the author, Matt Parker, said such an important role of mathematics and showed examples of disasters stemming from mathematical errors through exhilarating stories he has experienced. 

Then, what is the role of a human in mathematics? We try to use mathematics when deciding something important. And then, we should check all the types of mathematical errors to avoid the disaster. I would like to introduce his last paragraph. “Our modern world depends on mathematics and, when things go wrong, it should serve as a sobering reminder that we need to keep an eye on the hot cheese but also remind us of all the maths which works faultlessly around us.”

The following links are some quotations from the book with my thoughts.

(1) What Number Is a Really Big Number?

(2) Please Give Math More Time to Pick up the Pieces

(3) I Don’t Count on You When You Count Numbers

(4) More Approximations, More Problems in Your Life

(5) Probably, We Are Not Independent

(6) Searching for Average Man

(7) Sometimes, Simple Mathematics is Better than Our Experiences

[Wrap up] Book Review: How Not to Be Wrong: The Power of Mathematical Thinking

We need to focus on the book title: How not to be wrong. Why did the author, Jordan Ellenberg, not say like: How to be right? This is because mathematical thinking is not the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge. Even though we equipped ourselves with concrete mathematical thinking, we cannot get the right answer to some problems we faced in the world. However, mathematical thinking helps us to correct our view based on a popular misconception and prejudice and to understand the structure of the world more clearly.

In this book, the author presents several mathematical misconceptions (more focused on statistics) that make the wrong decision and prediction, and show how mathematical thinking can overcome such kinds of obstacles. Since mathematical thinking is the extension of common sense by other means, the author said that we need more math majors for non-mathematician such as more math majors for non-mathematician such as math major doctors, high school teachers, CEOs, and politicians.

The following links are some quotations from the book with my thoughts.

(1) Do You Want to Be a Nonlinear Thinker?

(2) The Past is in the Past: the Law of Large Numbers

(3) Improbable Things Happen All the Time

(4) Can We Predict our Future in Chaos?

(5) Make Your Problem Harder!

(6) The Triumph of Mediocrity: Do not Stumble on Your Success

(7) Everything is Connected but Not Correlated

(8) When You Meet a Mathematical Genius

[Wrap up] Book Review: Weapons of Math Destruction

NOW, we live in the age of Big Data and nobody can stop the invasion of artificial intelligence (AI) into our world. Many books about data science have shown the effectiveness, accuracy, and efficiency of the data-driven models in various fields such as economics, social science, and engineering. Do you agree with that data-driven models via mathematics/computer science/machine learning make a prosperous future?

THE author, Cathy O’Neil, based on her academical and industrial experiences, showed us the dark side of mathematical (or data-driven) models and called this ‘Weapons of Math Destruction’. The author said that WMDs have peculiar characteristics: (1) Opacity; (2) Scale; and (3) Damage. Through several examples that these characteristics of WMD have a negative effect on, the author called our attention to ‘fairness’ in Big Data and AI.

The following links are some quotations from the book with my thoughts.

(1) Make Your Crystal Ball Shine

(2) What Ingredients Do We Need for Yummy Data Soup?

(3) How to Make my Model Unspoiled?

(4) Am I the Same Person as I Was Yesterday?

(5) Some Numbers to Represent You

(6) The Whole is Different the Sum of its Parts

(7) Don’t put me in, Data

(8) Justice: What’s the Right Thing to Do in Data Science?

(9) As Human Beings, We are Flawed but We Learn