We crashed UW’s class on calling BS. Here’s what we learned about sleuthing ‘big data.’

A University of Washington seminar, “Calling BS in the Age of Big Data,” promises to help students develop a BS detector — and it’s become a global phenomenon, with universities as far away as Australia planning to teach a version of it this fall.

Did you hear about the researchers in China who said they’d developed an algorithm that could predict whether somebody was a criminal by scanning a photo of their face?

The researchers used “fancy machine learning” to eliminate human biases and come up with a scientific way to determine criminality by examining facial features, University of Washington professor Carl Bergstrom told his class in Mary Gates Hall one day last month.

“What do you guys think?” Bergstrom asked.

In unison, more than 100 students responded out loud: “Bullshit!”

Exactly.

Read more at The Seattle Times.

Image courtesy of The Seattle Times.

BS in the age of big data