Algorithms are not your friend, SF stays weird and 2018 economic predictions


By Jason Middleton

There’s a constant, invisible and powerful force in our daily lives that does not always register with our prefrontal cortexes: algorithms.

Algorithms provide us “personalized” headlines, mortgage rates, college admissions, coupons at the grocery-store checkout stand … you get me.

Put another way, algorithms are the artificial-intelligence canaries in the proverbial coal mine.

What goes into an algorithm is human, repeatable methodologies. In a nutshell, algorithms have the capacity of — and often do — compound inequalities.

This week we have Dr. Cathy O’Neil, the author of “Weapons of Math Destruction for two segments of discussion around her disillusionment with the application, construction and near ubiquity of algorithms.

Algos touch every life, almost every day … and we’re still not sure what they do. It’s a macro application of the “unintended consequences” story thread.

If the topic interests you you may want to consider checking out Dr O’Neil’s TED talk here.

In our third segment we have George Noceti on to help us unpack what 2018 may look like, economically speaking, given the new tax law and other economic indicators.

Mr Noceti is a wealth advisor with Morgan Stanley — and he came armed with reams of research, so we have confidence in his hot takes. (Spoiler alert: the tax law equivocates to economic growth, mostly through small- and medium-sized businesses.)

Finally, we needed a breather of sorts, so for our fourth segment we asked longtime real estate analyst, Patrick Carlisle, to share his year-end demographic wrap-up when it comes to just who, exactly, lives in San Francisco. 

It’s a lighter look at who/what/when of San Francisco, perfect to dive into on a relaxing weekend! See the full data report here.)

Basically, we’re hoping to look at the stereotypes of San Franciscans … and sometimes busting those stereotypes apart.

Please click on any of the above links for more information! Visit our show page to view all our podcasts (see this week’s segments mentioned in the article below). You can follow our Facebook page or follow me on Twitter for additional updates!

Have great weeks, everybody!

 

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