When algorithm denies you service

If you deny an applicant a loan because of his credit score you need to send to customer his credit report along with stating the reason of rejection. The customer can look at report and see why his credit score is low. If there is any discrepancy, he can contest. Also, he can make some corrective actions to improve his score like paying off an existing loan.

Given that we are transitioning into a world where algorithms are making decisions to deny you a service, it becomes important that the consumer understands why he was denied a service. The customer needs to be explained in simple terms what were the reasons his service request was denied. The customer should have the opportunity to contest any discrepancy and also should have opportunity to take corrective actions.

Seems there is some progress on this front.

In May 2018, the new European Union General Data Protection Regulation takes effect, including a section giving people a right to get an explanation for automated decisions that affect their lives.

The complete article

Anupam Datta – The Conversation


The Palm Oil Problem


Organizations like Rainforest Rescue have demanded a boycott of palm oil, urging consumers to use local oils made from sunflower seeds or rapeseed instead. As of December 2014, the European Union has made such a boycott easier by requiring foodstuff producers to clearly indicate what kind of oil is used in their product. If consumers begin shunning palm oil, the drop in demand will have an influence on its global price, which will in turn affect the prices producers receive at the local level.

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Vanessa Steinmetz and Karl Vandenhole — Spiegel

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Twitter CEO wants to study platform’s “health,” but is he ignoring the cancer?


Twitter and the bots. Who will win?

Again, to be totally clear, this anecdotal take is still subject to less dramatic results, like genuine accounts or harmful-yet-simple trolling efforts from bored teens. But if it turns out that accounts like these continue to be run and operated by paid troll-farm services—bounced around via VPNs to avoid IP address scrutiny, operated by minimum-wage workers in third-world countries, possibly fostered by ad purchases using American bank accounts—then the big question is, what’s their end game? American political disruption certainly seems possible, especially in the cases where they pop up specifically to offer thoughts on political issues as big as assault rifles and as small as city council meetings.

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Sam Machkovech — Ars Technica

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Thriving in the Gig Economy


How to thrive as a gig worker? There are many pitfalls to avoid but the success at the end of it all is motivating.

The first thing we realized when we began interviewing independent consultants and artists was that the stakes of independent work are enormously high—not just financially but also existentially. Unshackled from managers and corporate norms, people can choose assignments that make the most of their talents and reflect their true interests. They feel ownership over what they produce and over their entire professional lives. One study participant told us, “I can be the most I’ve ever been myself in any job.”

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Gianpiero Petriglieri, Susan J. AshfordAmy Wrzesniewski — HBR

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Billionaires trying to fix US poverty are the sign of a failed system


Can we rely on corporate leaders to fix poverty?

Of all the solutions to poverty that other developed countries have already implemented, Alston points out one particularly American failure: Insufficient public services and structural support for lower income people. Describing the American view of welfare services, Alston notes that in the US society “immense faith is placed in the goodwill and altruism of the corporate beneficiaries, while with welfare reform the opposite assumptions apply. The poor are inherently lazy, dishonest, and care only about their own interests.” As he notes in his report, the tax reform and the policies of the Trump administration are only likely to expand that divide.

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Annalisa Merelli – Quartz

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What’s Behind One of the Biggest Financial Scams in History


Story of a massive scandal. And how the biggies got away, again..

Knowledge@Wharton: Nobody has been doing any jail time because of this. That’s a disturbing pattern on a lot of fronts, because we’ve seen a similar result here in the U.S. after the financial crisis, and many of the other banking-related scandals that have occurred.

Enrich: You know what’s interesting? As part of the publicity for this book, I’ve done a tremendous amount of radio. And radio, as you know, can be very deeply polarized on both the right and the left in this country. So just as preparation for a lot of these interviews, I did some quick research: Is this a Trump radio station or Clinton or Bernie Sanders radio station? And I was expecting different slanted questions. You know what? Everyone’s asked the exact same thing, which is, ‘Why do the financial elites keep getting away with murder?’ It seems to be this really unifying theme across the country right now. It just makes people’s blood boil. There was so much public pressure on politicians and prosecutors after the crisis to find some individuals to hold to account for the massive harm that the banking industry caused to the country and to the economy, really to the world.

The complete article


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The Ethics of Donald Trump Jr.’s India Adventure


This week Trump Jr. visited Delhi. All newspapers were covered with front page ads selling real estate brandishing the Trump brand.

“When these sons go around all over the world talking about, one, Trump business deals and, two, … apparently giving speeches on some United States government foreign policy, they are strongly suggesting a linkage between the two,” Richard Painter, President George W. Bush’s chief ethics lawyer who is a professor of law at the University of Minnesota, told me. “Somebody, somewhere is going to cross the line into suggesting a quid pro quo.”

He added: “It might not be the Trump boys. It might be somebody working for them. It might be somebody over in India or in some other country who believes that’s the way to curry favor with the United States government, to get something in return from the United States government, to do a deal that’s favorable to the Trump Organization.”

The complete article

Krishnadev Calamur — The Atlantic

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