This book carefully lays out something that may not be too surprising at this point: corporate lobbying is a worrying phenomenon in the U.S.
I introduce some philosophical concepts (the is-ought problem and the notion of thick concepts) to illustrate why you cannot remove morals from political debate, why avoiding words like "racist" because they are "inherently alienating" is an unproductive exercise, and why explicitly appealing to values helps facilitate political discussion and communication.
Sophisticated models that learn patterns from large datasets offer the promise of providing impartial, efficient, accurate, "smart" decision-makers. As such, they are becoming more widespread and have a lot of influence over people's life outcomes. Weapons of Math Destruction argues, however, that these algorithms have troubling features that codify unjust discrimination and are inscrutable and unaccountable. I focus in this post on these undesirable features and how to counteract them.