computers men: i want to make a computer do a thing that humans do

me: maybe you should ask the humans who do that thing how they do it

computers men: preposterous. absurd

Wasn't that the whole basis of expert systems? You run into the same issue as anthropology, or any other field that rely on asking humans questions. There are three truths, the truth they tell you, the truth they believe, and the actual truth.

@alexjgriffith @dankwraith as opposed to Big Data, which... doesn't have this problem? not sure I buy that

Yeah, there are issues with observing user behaviour vs asking them questions. But, if sampled correctly, these observations can get far closer to the ground truth.

@alexjgriffith @dankwraith I'm not sure why "observing behavior" or "sampling correctly" seems like a less daunting bias elimination task to you than interpreting and evaluating answers. behavior is also nontrivially interpreted by the observer. 'data crunching' is not more objective— the computer just does what we tell it. it is just possibly economical in scale- it allows your questionable interpretive choices to play out over larger sets of questionable data more quickly


Yeah, big data is definitely not an answer in and of itself. I feel like companies think it's a silver bullet to everything, especially coupled with machine learning.

When it is used, it should be as just one of several quantitative and qualitative tools.

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