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Technically Wrong

Sexist Apps, Biased Algorithms, and Other Threats of Toxic Tech

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Description

A revealing look at how tech industry bias and blind spots get baked into digital products—and harm us all.

Buying groceries, tracking our health, finding a date: whatever we want to do, odds are that we can now do it online. But few of us ask how all these digital products are designed or why. It’s time we changed that. Many of the services we rely on are full of oversights, biases and downright ethical nightmares. Chatbots that harass women. Sign-up forms that fail anyone who’s not straight. Social media sites that send messages about dead relatives. Algorithms that put more black people behind bars.

Technically Wrong takes an unflinching look at the values, processes and assumptions that lead to these problems and more. Wachter-Boettcher demystifies the tech industry, leaving those of us on the other side of the screen better prepared to make informed choices about the services we use—and demand more from the companies behind them.

Reviews

“The stories she [Sara Wachter-Boettcher] tells... are good, as are the examples she provides of corporate failure.” — The Sunday Times

“This is a powerful read reflecting on the prejudices that lurk within a powerful industry.” — Selected as one of the 25 best books for IT leaders, IT Pro

“Technology permeates life, from grocery shopping to dating apps. Yet we rarely question its design or aims. Web consultant Sara Wachter-Boettcher proffers a damning critique of the ethical dilemmas it poses, and why we need to demand more accountability from tech creators.” — Mary Craig rounds up the highlights of this season’s releases., Nature

“Thoughtful and entertaining, [Technically Wrong] encourages its readers to give their apps a critical eye, considering the many ways biased programming can influence users. This argument for greater diversity in the technology industry is an important call-to-arms.” — The best books of 2018 in tech, science, business and ideas, Wired

“A must-read in the post-Cambridge Analytica world.” — Best tech books 2018: 6 that will expand your mind, London Evening Standard