Books  |  ,   |  October 10, 2017

Technically Wrong: Sexist Apps, Biased Algorithms, and Other Threats of Toxic Tech

Book by Sara Wachter-Boettcher.
Published by W. W. Norton & Company.
240 pages.

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 why all these digital products are designed the way they are. It’s time we change that. Many of the services we rely on are full of oversights, biases, and downright ethical nightmares: Chatbots that harass women. Signup forms that fail anyone who’s not straight. Social media sites that send peppy messages about dead relatives. Algorithms that put more black people behind bars.

Sara Wachter-Boettcher takes an unflinching look at the values, processes, and assumptions that lead to these and other problems. Technically Wrong 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.

Table of Contents

  • Welcome to the Machine
  • Culture Misfit
  • Normal People
  • Select One
  • Delighted to Death
  • Tracked, Tagged, and Targeted
  • Algorithmic Inequity
  • Built to Break
  • Meritocracy Now, Meritocracy Forever
  • Technically Dangerous

About the Author

Sara Wachter-Boettcher runs Rare Union, a consultancy based in Philadelphia, and is the author of Technically Wrong, Design for Real Life, with Eric Meyer, and Content Everywhere. She helps organizations with digital product and content strategy, and speaks at conferences worldwide.