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Surya Mattu

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Surya Mattu is a contributing researcher at ProPublica.

Articles

Facebook Doesn’t Tell Users Everything It Really Knows About Them

The site shows users how Facebook categorizes them. It doesn’t reveal the data it is buying about their offline lives.

Breaking the Black Box: When Machines Learn by Experimenting on Us

As we enter the era of artificial intelligence, machines regularly conduct experiments on human behavior. Here’s a look at how software used by the New York Times and New York Post uses you to test their headlines.

Breaking the Black Box: When Algorithms Decide What You Pay

The phone you use, the computer you own and the ZIP code you live in can all be factors in what prices you see when shopping online. Welcome to the world of mass customization.

Breaking the Black Box: What Facebook Knows About You

We live in an era of increasing automation. But as machines make more decisions for us, it is increasingly important to understand the algorithms that produce their judgments.

Amazon Says It Puts Customers First. But Its Pricing Algorithm Doesn’t

Amazon bills itself as “Earth’s most customer-centric company.” Yet its algorithm is hiding the best deal from many customers.

How We Analyzed Amazon’s Shopping Algorithm

We examined the listings for 250 bestselling products across a wide range of categories, from electronics to household supplies, over a period of several weeks this summer.

What Algorithmic Injustice Looks Like in Real Life

A computer program rated defendants’ risk of committing a future crime. These are the results.

Machine Bias

There’s software used across the country to predict future criminals. And it’s biased against blacks.

How We Analyzed the COMPAS Recidivism Algorithm

Uber’s Surge Pricing May Not Lead to a Surge in Drivers

Uber’s surge pricing doesn’t necessarily increase the availability of rides. It just makes them more expensive.

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