Machine learning algorithms make life easier -- until they don't


Perhaps they're based on some hard, rational logic leading to an unbiased and random draw, or more likely on some fancy but operationally opaque big data-based machine learning algorithm. In too many cases, poorly trained or designed machine learning algorithms end up making prejudicial decisions that can unfairly affect individuals. But with easy-to-use big data, machine learning tools like Apache Spark and the increasing streams of data from the internet of things wrapping all around us, I expect that every data-driven task will be optimized with machine learning in some important way. We often talk about how supposedly blind and fair machine learning algorithms will help the world design more optimal and efficient processes.