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Category Archives: Financial System

Who is “Public” Data Really For?

LitHub: “…Both words—“public” and “open”—invite a question: For whom? Despite the efforts of Mae and Gareth, and Tom Grundner and many others, the internet as it exists is hardly a public space. Many people still find themselves excluded from full participation. Access to anything posted on a city web page or on a .gov domain is restricted by barriers of cost and technical ability. Getting this data can be particularly hard for communities that are already marginalized, and both barriers—financial and technical—can be nearly impassable in places with limited resources and literacies. Data.gov, the United States’ “open data portal,” lists nearly 250,000 data sets, an apparent bounty of free information. Spend some time on data.gov and other portals, though, and you’ll find out that public data as it exists is messy and often confusing. Many hosted “data sets” are links to URLs that are no longer active. Trying to access data about Native American communities from the American Community Survey on data.gov brought me first to a census site with an unlabeled list of file folders. Downloading a zip file and unpacking it resulted in 64,086 cryptically named text files each containing zero kilobytes of data. As someone who has spent much of the last decade working with these kinds of data, I can tell you that this is not an uncommon experience. All too often, working with public data feels like assembling particularly complicated Ikea furniture with no tools, no instructions, and an unknown number of missing pieces…” [h/t Barclay Walsh]

AI.gov, home of the National AI Initiative

“Welcome to AI.gov, home of the National AI Initiative and connection point to ongoing activities to advance U.S. leadership in AI. The National AI Initiative Act of 2020 became law on January 1, 2021, providing for a coordinated program across the entire Federal government to accelerate AI research and application for the Nation’s economic prosperity… Continue Reading

There’s more to cryptocurrency than Bitcoin: 5 other digital coins to consider

Tech Republic – “If you’ve put off learning about digital currencies, now is the time to get up to speed because the cryptocurrency bubble keeps getting bigger. Bitcoin is almost a household name now, as it has been around for more than 10 years. The cryptocurrency was created in 2009 via a white paper written… Continue Reading

Data overload is real

Fortune – “Do you suffer from data overload? This painful condition has skyrocketed as organizations have massively increased the amount of data they collect and then…well, that’s the question—what should you actually do with it? To talk this through, I reached out to Shari Littan, director of corporate reporting research and policy at the Institute of… Continue Reading

Artificial Intelligence Is Misreading Human Emotion

The Atlantic – There is no good evidence that facial expressions reveal a person’s feelings. But big tech companies want you to believe otherwise: “…Today affect-recognition tools can be found in national-security systems and at airports, in education and hiring start-ups, in software that purports to detect psychiatric illness and policing programs that claim to predict… Continue Reading

Research: Adding Women to the C-Suite Changes How Companies Think

Harvard Business Review: “Research has shown that firms with more women in senior positions are more profitable, more socially responsible, and provide safer, higher-quality customer experiences — among many other benefits. And of course, there is a clear moral argument for increasing diversity among top management teams (TMTs). But when it comes to explaining why… Continue Reading

TIME 100 Most Influential Companies

TIME: “Which companies are shaping our future? That’s the question at the heart of our first ever TIME 100 Most Influential Companies, a new list—and an expansion of our iconic TIME100 franchise—that highlights businesses making an extraordinary impact around the world. To assemble it, TIME solicited nominations across sectors including health care, entertainment, transportation, technology… Continue Reading

Tax Evasion at the Top of the Income Distribution – Theory and Evidence

NBER Paper – “This paper studies tax evasion at the top of the U.S. income distribution using IRS micro-data from (i) random audits, (ii) targeted enforcement activities, and (iii) operational audits. Drawing on this unique combination of data, we demonstrate empirically that random audits underestimate tax evasion at the top of the income distribution. Specifically,… Continue Reading

CEO Pay Remains Stratospheric Even at Companies Battered by Pandemic

The New York Times – “…The coronavirus plunged the world into an economic crisis, sent the U.S. unemployment rate skyrocketing and left millions of Americans struggling to make ends meet. Yet at many of the companies hit hardest by the pandemic, the executives in charge were showered with riches. The divergent fortunes of C.E.O.s and… Continue Reading

A brief history of how it took almost 300 years to pass the Americans with Disabilities Act

Fast Company – “By now you’ve probably heard that the pandemic has hit certain groups more than others. Women, particularly women of color, have lost a historic number of jobs, which has a ripple effect on the wage gap and the global economy overall. What’s less well known is that between March and August 2020… Continue Reading