How Data and AI Happened

Chris Wiggins on how Data and Algorithms have shaped society and what we can do about it.

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Chris Wiggins is a Professor at Columbia University and the Chief Data Scientist at the NYTimes.  He is also co-author of a fascinating new historical exploration of how data has been used as a tool in shaping society, from the census to eugenics to Google search. How Data Happened traces the trajectory of data and explores new mathematical and computational techniques that serve to shape people, ideas, society, and economies. They offer practical insights into how we can better understand and control data to promote privacy, democracy, and individual rights. I have perused numerous historical books and biographies pertaining to the subject matter, however, this book stands out for its distinctive approach in utilizing history to explain the present landscape of Data, Machine Learning, and AI for readers.

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[Image: Book cover and Image from Kathleen Smith (Privacy Journal, 1984)]