Abstract / Synopsis
Data science can contribute valuable predictions in diverse fields. But I write to express some concerns and red flags. I suggest that data science is being oversold. This article contains three questions that I believe data science must address as this new discipline matures. Is data science significantly different from statistics? This is a question that has haunted the field since the term first was introduced. By creating algorithms based on current societal decision rules that may be biased, even bigoted, does data science lock in and exacerbate inequality? Scholars have identified a continuum from data to information to knowledge to wisdom, with the ultimate goal being wisdom. Data scientists seem to be acting as though data alone are enough. The big data systems are mathematically complex and have predictive power, but can data science contribute significantly to our body of knowledge?
David E. Drew, "The Limits of Data Science," Journal of Humanistic Mathematics, Volume 14 Issue 1 (January 2024), pages 305-315. DOI: 10.5642/jhummath.HLOL5882. Available at: https://scholarship.claremont.edu/jhm/vol14/iss1/20