How effective is the Corona-measures?

Ddiscussions about the appropriateness of the measures in the fight against the Covid-19-pandemic, suffer from a fundamental asymmetry: “We have seen the unprecedented economic costs of the measures in the world, but at the same time their Use was not clearly visible,” summed up the Global Policy Laboratory of the University of California, Berkeley-working scientists Solomon Hsiang of the Problem on Monday. He and his colleagues published in the journal “Nature” now is a study that seeks this information deficit should be repealed. Your approach: econometric models. They are usually used to determine the influence of policy measures on economic growth. In an analogous manner, it can be used to understand political influences on the growth of infection numbers.

For such studies the necessary data are now available worldwide. Infection numbers, as well as information about the date of national interventions allow the course of the pandemic during the past few months on an empirical Basis to classify it. Six countries looked at, the Team from Berkeley, more specifically to: China, South Korea, Italy, Iran, France and the United States. The result of the analysis is consistent for all of these countries: “measures for the containment of contagions have slowed down the infection growth is significantly and substantially”, says the study. A particular strength of the analysis lies in the fact that it depends on uncertain epidemiological parameters such as mortality rate or the Infectivity of the Virus: The Changes in the growth rate directly with the use of policy measures in relationship, without having to specify how any influence exactly came to pass. In addition, the results of the details of the national testing and reporting practice are not independent, except in the period under consideration has not changed – if it is, should be such Changes in the data to identify and to take into account, the researchers write.


Why does California have low COVID-19 numbers in the US drama? – Telemundo 52

LOS ANGELES – Early confinement and other prevention measures promoted by the state government have allowed California, with more than 40 million inhabitants and some 300 deaths from COVID-19, to become an example of how to deal with the coronavirus pandemic in United States.

So far, the nation’s largest metropolis, Los Angeles, with more than 10 million citizens, has recorded fewer than 6,000 cases and 132 deaths, far from New York City, which has 8 and a half million inhabitants. and it has confirmed some 130,000 infections and more than 4,000 deaths.

“California has been doing quite well in the COVID-19 pandemic, with a relatively low number of infected per 100,000 people and a low death rate,” said Professor Karin Michels, head of the Department of Epidemiology at the School of Public Health, University of California Los Angeles (UCLA).


California Governor Gavin Newsom was one of the first in the country to enact relatively strict confinement, allowing only “essential” activities such as going to the grocery store and pharmacy, and exercising respect for safety distances between people.

In contrast, eight states – Arkansas, Iowa, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, South Carolina, Utah, and Wyoming – have not mandated their residents to stay home.

“The governor issued ‘home security’ and ‘shelter’ orders relatively quickly. Universities like UCLA and other large employers closed even earlier and sent people to work, teach and study from home,” said Michels, who has extensive experience in disease prevention, public health and statistical methods.

Due to the COVID-19 crisis, California schools may continue to be closed until the end of August.

Newsom also took the initiative to decree the closure of schools, which will remain closed until next year, as a preventive measure; in asking President Donald Trump to send a hospital ship to Los Angeles to support local hospitals before it reached a hypothetical peak in the number of cases, which has not yet occurred; and in closing the state’s beaches and parks.

Another point that seems to have helped so far in the exceptional case of California against COVID-19, according to experts, is the low population density of the state, which reduces the possibility of contagion and allows better compliance with the rules of social distancing.

 Despite having a large population, Californians do not live in
as dense as New Yorkers. Cities spread with
Few skyscrapers: Relative to other states, many more people in
 California lives in houses, not in apartment buildings or buildings
high, “summarizes Michels, who is based on data from a study of his


California has had a much lower per capita death rate than most of the nation’s largest states, with the exception of Texas.

“The state has a low average age and a high
density of healthcare facilities, which may have contributed to
 the low mortality rate, “explained Michels.

According to a recent study published in The Lancet, the mortality rate among those infected with 20 years of age is 0.03%, while for those 70 years of age it is 8.6%.

Cautious tone

 Californian authorities have projected alarming numbers in the
recent weeks, although so far those estimates have not been

Newsom himself foresaw two weeks ago that more than half the state’s population, or about 25 million people, would become infected, so he begged its residents to follow the guidelines to the letter.

For his part, the mayor of Los Angeles, Eric Garcetti, did not hesitate to forecast that the city “would follow in the footsteps of New York” in number of cases, a catastrophic scenario that is still far away.

COVID-19 affects children differently than adults. This is what the doctors say in the following video.

The United States on Monday exceeded 10,000 deaths from coronavirus, with 10,335 and almost 350,000 infected, making it the third country with the most deaths after Italy and Spain, according to the count of the Center for Systems, Science and Engineering (CSSE) from Johns Hopkins University (Maryland).

The new data is known after this Sunday
President Donald Trump, during his usual daily press conference,
make sure “this will probably be the hardest week, between this
week and next, and there will be a lot of death. ”

The state of New York, the great epicenter of the pandemic in the United States, accumulates with these latest figures a total of 4,758 deaths and 130,689 confirmed cases of COVID-19, compared to just over 122,000 that it had a day earlier.


They detected an iron leak in the core of the Earth – News

A team of researchers made up of geologists from the University of California recorded a “leak” on Earth after analyzing the planet’s inner layers and determined that the nucleus may leak heavy iron.

The researchers suggest that a significant drop in temperature from the planet’s liquid iron core to the outer rock mantle pushes the heavier iron isotopes toward the planet’s surface, while the lighter ones remain inside the core.

The boundary between the liquid iron core and the rocky mantle is located about 2,900 kilometers below the Earth’s surface. In that transition, the temperature falls by more than 1,000 degrees from the hottest core to the coldest mantle, explains the portal Science daily.

“The results suggest that iron from the core has been seeping into the mantle for billions of years,” said study lead author Charles Lesher.

The experiments, carried out at high temperatures and pressures, could explain why there are more heavy isotopes of iron in mantle rocks than in chondrite meteorites, the primary material in the early solar system.

Lesher also highlights that the findings may help scientists better understand the physical and chemical processes that take place between the layers that make up Earth, as well as better interpret seismic images of the deep mantle.

According RTComputer simulations by geologists show that the iron in the core can even reach the surface. They contend that this phenomenon could explain the high levels of iron deposits found in volcanic eruptions off the coasts of Samoa and Hawaii.


Corona Crisis Exposes US System Failure & Changes Country

Only a folded cardboard card in the low conference room indicates who the place is for. “The President” is written on it. Behind it sits Donald Trump, leaning back, arms folded, his favorite pose. Here, in the headquarters of the US civil protection agency FEMA, Trump can be seen in his new role for the first time in mid-March: as crisis president. The governors of the 50 US states are switched on one after the other via loudspeakers.

Bravely they present their wishes to the President. Brian Kemp from Georgia hopes that the power of command over the National Guard will remain with the states even during the corona crisis, “because we know best what is going on in our country.” Trump replies: “I like your idea, Brian, consider that a decision.” And then: “The next governor, please!” Trump has found a new role. That of the leader in the “war against the virus”.

What else is there for him? Trump’s initial downplay of Covid-19 lung disease no longer fits the harsh reality. In Corona Hell New York, forklifts are now hauling the dead in refrigerated trucks. There are hospital tents in Central Park to accommodate the sick – the last time it happened in the civil war was over 160 years ago.

How bad the supply of protective masks and respirators is, can be seen on the night of Wednesday, when Trump accepted relief supplies and experts from Russia. “That cannot be true,” said Russian expert Andrew Weiss from the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in the United States.


While the corona pandemic has abated in China and has presumably reached its peak in Europe, it is overwhelming the United States. No other country in the world has so many infections. In no other country in the world do so many people die. The Corona Task Force of the White House expects up to 240,000 deaths. The climax is expected with up to 3500 deaths per day around Easter – more than two people in the United States will lose their lives every minute.

With the term “China virus”, Trump not only started to upset China, but also suggested that this is a problem for others. The United States gave away valuable weeks in which they could have learned from the experiences in Asia and Europe. In which the rather ailing US health care system could have prepared for the onslaught of the corona patients and in which the economic consequences of the pandemic could have been mitigated.

“In the United States, we have had the worst of both worlds so far: an economic crash and a rapid spread of the virus,” says Maurice Obstfeld, former IMF chief economist.

The economic crisis comes to the health catastrophe. Compared to Europe, the less regulated US labor market responds more quickly to the situation. The unemployment curve is similar to an ECG of a heart attack, 3.3 million people registered without a job last week, twice as many this week.

Empty Broadway in New York

The city is the center of the US corona crisis.

(Photo: imago images / Bildbyran)

According to the investment bank Goldman Sachs The unemployment rate in the USA will skyrocket to 15 percent by the middle of the year, and the effects of the three Corona aid packages to date have already been included.

With unemployment, consumption collapses, with almost 70 percent a pillar of the gross domestic product (GDP). “The United States will plunge into a deep recession that is so unusual that statisticians may never agree on exactly what percentage production slumped,” warned Harvard professor Kenneth Rogoff. “Our system for calculating GDP is simply not designed for this kind of sudden stop.” He assumes that the slump in the second quarter will be up to 25 percent.

The US economy is particularly hard hit by the low oil price. It would have been a welcome help in the past, given that Americans spend less on gasoline and heating oil. But the country blossomed into international oil power with fracking. Now the new industry is facing ruin – and pulling the economy down.

There is a lot of talk in the United States about the situation with which the situation is most comparable. With the financial crisis of 2008? With the Spanish flu of 1918? Or even with the Great Depression in the early 1930s? Nobel laureate in economics Robert Shiller sees this as a “worst case scenario” for the possible consequences of the corona pandemic in the USA.


In fact, there is another parallel: Pearl Harbor. The surprise attack by the Japanese on the headquarters of the U.S. Pacific Fleet in 1941 hit a nation that could have known better. But the war raging across the oceans in Europe and the Far East seemed far away. An illusion that only died with Pearl Harbor.

Even in the corona pandemic, the United States has long deluded itself: that the pandemic would miraculously remain confined to Europe and Asia. That she could be kept away from the United States with entry bans. On March 9, Trump still saw that Corona was no more serious than a flu wave.

Six days later, the White House recommended a nationwide shutdown. The pandemic strikes a superpower that is just as unprepared as the 1941 attack by the Japanese. With deadly brutality, the virus exposes the weaknesses of the economic and social system:

  • In the crisis, the US social system is more like a fire accelerator than a safety net. Anyone who falls ill or is released in the USA is quickly at risk of ruin. It is not only hard for those affected. It also intensifies the crash of the overall economy and there is a lack of so-called automatic stabilizers. With hasty economic stimulus packages, politicians are trying to compensate for this shortage and to provide social benefits that are a matter of course in other industrialized countries, such as continued wages in the event of illness.
  • The American groups are world leaders in their stock market valuation. But in the crisis it becomes clear that this is often based on the art of illusion. Many companies have used the low interest rates of the past decade to get into debt. However, this money was mostly not used for future-oriented investments, but to distribute high dividends and buy own shares from the market and thus drive the stock market price. Now that sales break down in the shutdown, companies lack financial reserves. The state has to bail out the corporations with aid loans.
  • The struggle against the disaster is aggravated by a political system in which distrust dominates: Democrats against Republicans, governors against Washington. And above all a president who for a long time was not guided by facts, but by emotions, survey values ​​and ratings.

1. The social system: Even in the crisis there is an up and a down

Corpse transportation in Brooklyn

The health system is overworked.

(Photo: Shutterstock)

“Hang Tough, South Slope!” The residents of the Brooklyn house posted in their windows. “Hold on!” That is the motto with which the hard-boiled New Yorkers are trying these days to brave themselves against the rapid spread of the corona virus.

New York has long since become the largest source of fire in the world. The number of people who test positive in the city increases by thousands every day. More than 45,000 people have contracted Covid-19 and nearly 1,400 have died. The silence in the streets is increasingly interrupted by the sirens of the ambulances.

In Central Park, a field hospital made of white tents welcomes the Covid 19 patients, the Mount Sinai Hospital on the Upper East Side is no longer up to the rush. “I have already set up field hospitals like this in war zones and after earthquakes. But I never expected to ever have to build one in Central Park, ”said Elliott Tenpenny, doctor and team leader of the Christian charity Samaritan’s Purse.

New York doctors and nurses report that they have to wear their masks and suits for five layers, occasionally disinfected with spray. A doctor outraged spread the image of a rain poncho with “New York Yankees” on Twitter. The cloak, originally intended for spectators at baseball games, was given to her at the beginning of her shift in the hospital as protective clothing.

New York took the right measures, but too late. Rice Powell (CEO Fresenius Medical Care)

Rice Powell is optimistic that New York can cope with the situation thanks to the new makeshift hospitals. He has to be the boss of Fresenius Medical Care (FMC) know. The German company operates a total of 80 dialysis centers in the state of New York, many in New York City. Ten percent of these are isolation centers for corona-infected patients.

“We saw what happened in China, Italy and then Spain,” said FMC CEO Rice Powell. “That’s why we applied our pandemic protocol early and ordered protective clothing.”

The FMC boss is convinced that the US could have reacted earlier. “As a country and as a city of New York, we weren’t sufficiently prepared with the hospitals,” Powell says. “New York took the right measures, but too late.”

The catastrophe is now here, and anyone who can afford it leaves the city. Short-term rental prices for beach houses in the Hamptons have quintupled in recent weeks, brokers report.

Robin Mayer is a New York billionaire who prefers not to read his real name in the newspaper. He and his wife have retired to his luxury property in the US state of Wyoming. “So we can hold out for a while,” he says. The fridges are full, he got masks weeks ago.

“Now we just have to wait,” he says. “Sure, a few things will change permanently, but there will still be capital markets after Corona and it will continue. In two to three years, this will only be a small dent in a graphic. ”

Medical ship in New York

Aid is needed, as was the case in the 2001 terrorist attack.

(Photo: Brendan McDermid)

New York film producer David Geffen was less discreet than Mayer. Last week he caused a wave of outrage when he published photos of his super yacht “Rising Sun”. The billionaire in the Caribbean wants to sit out on the pandemic. “I hope you all stay safe,” his greeting ended on Instagram, which earned the billionaire so many angry reactions that he deleted his account.

Not all super-rich are as instinctual as Geffen. With his foundation, Bill Gates is providing $ 100 million to fight the virus. Michael Bloomberg donates $ 40 million to fight Corona in Africa.

But such benefits tend to go under. “More than half of the US stock is in the hands of the richest one percent,” criticizes Robert Reich, who was Secretary of Labor under President Bill Clinton and now teaches at the University of California at Berkeley.

The super-rich would therefore not see the corona virus as a health and social crisis. “After all, you are not exposed to the risk of infection like nurses, doctors and delivery men every day.” In Reich’s eyes, the problem for super-rich people is reduced to the question: “How can we get share prices up again as quickly as possible?”

I have already set up such field hospitals in war zones. But I never expected to ever have to build one in Central Park. Elliott Tenpenny (doctor and team leader Samaritan’s Purse)

The further down one looks in the income and wealth scale, the more the pandemic raises another question: How can I survive Corona without ruining myself financially? “We cannot say that we have a functioning health system,” Reich said on Tuesday with an online reading. “We are the richest country on this planet. It’s a shame.”

Since the health care reform under President Barack Obama (“Obamacare”) ten years ago, all US citizens have the right to health insurance without a prior health check – a huge step forward for US standards. But not everyone has such insurance, and even if: What benefits are covered by the individual policies and what additional payments are incurred can hardly be overlooked by the insured.

This leads to extreme burdens even in normal times – around 60 percent of private bankruptcies in the USA are due to invaluable hospital bills. Some, but by no means all insurance companies have announced that they will waive the excess that would otherwise be due for corona treatments.

With their aid packages hurriedly put together, politicians are now rushing to introduce social benefits that are a matter of course in other industrialized countries. For the duration of the corona crisis, most US employees are now guaranteed 14 days’ wages in the event of illness or if quarantine threatens.

In addition to the unemployment benefits that individual states pay in the United States, unemployed people are to receive $ 600 a week from the federal government’s fund. But even that only for the next four months, the measure against the corona crisis should under no circumstances become a permanent social benefit.


The United States now even has a kind of improvised short-time worker regulation. Smaller companies can apply for aid loans that they do not have to pay back if they keep their workforce on board during the crisis.

This does not help corporate employees. The Macy’s department store chain wants to put the majority of its 125,000 employees in front of the door, as does the Gap clothing chain with 129,000 employees. There is no statutory protection against dismissal that could delay such mass layoffs or make them more socially acceptable.

America remains a class society even in the Corona emergency. This is also shown by the fact that the health crisis in the world financial capital of New York is taking place under the eyes of the digital and media public, who mourn every missing protective cape and cheer every new field hospital – while 770 kilometers further west, people die much more quietly.

Detroit, the run-down auto metropolis, is on its way to becoming the new corona hotspot in the United States. The number of infected and dead people increases particularly rapidly here and in the neighboring communities. One third of Detroit’s 673,000 residents live in poverty. Many have pre-existing conditions that make the virus particularly dangerous for them.


Corona virus remains detectable on surfaces for hours

DAccording to a study, the novel corona virus can still be found on surfaces after hours. Viable viruses were found on copper for tests of up to four hours, on cardboard up to 24 hours and on plastic and stainless steel for up to three days, the researchers said, among others, from the University of Princeton and the University of California in Los Angeles on Tuesday (Local time) with.

However, the so-called infection dose was reduced significantly on all surfaces over these periods.

The Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) also refers to this study. The BfR continues: “In general, human corona viruses are not particularly stable on dry surfaces. As a rule, the inactivation takes place in the dry state within hours to a few days. “So far there have been no cases in which people have been shown to be infected through contact with contaminated objects.

In this first small study, the US researchers compared the pathogen SARS-CoV-2, which causes Covid-19, with the pathogen SARS-CoV-1, the infectious disease that was first observed in 2002 SARS triggers. They found that both types of virus are similarly stable. The stability does not therefore explain why, unlike SARS-CoV-1, SARS-CoV-2 led to a pandemic, the researchers write.

WHO advises against ibuprofen

The World Health Organization (WHO) advises people who suspect coronavirus infection to take ibuprofen without medical advice. While there are no new studies showing that ibuprofen is associated with higher mortality rates, WHO spokesman Christian Lindmeier said in Geneva on Tuesday.

But the experts are currently reviewing the situation. “We advise taking paracetamol and not ibuprofen in suspected cases,” said Lindmeier. This relates only to taking without medical advice, he emphasized.

The French health minister caused a sensation at the weekend with a tweet warning of anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen. The national health director Jérôme Salomon had made a similar statement and advised against taking so-called non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). In addition to ibuprofen, this group of active ingredients also includes acetylsalicylic acid (ASA; aspirin) and diclofenac. There is a contribution in the specialist journal “Lancet” in which a possible undesirable effect of ibuprofen is mentioned. However, the number of cases in the study is extremely small.

In France, since January 15th Ibuprofen is no longer at the front of the pharmacy, but only behind the counter. The pharmacists sell it largely without a prescription. However, this should ensure appropriate advice.

The virologist Jonas Schmidt-Chanasit from the Bernhard Nocht Institute for Tropical Medicine (BNITM) did not rule out at the weekend that ASA in particular, but also ibuprofen, could not be helpful for the lung disease Covid-19. “Ibuprofen inhibits blood clotting, which would be a possible indication,” explains the virologist. This increases the risk of internal bleeding. “This is not the case with paracetamol.”

Symptoms not yet known

Bonn’s virologist Hendrik Streeck has identified new symptoms of coronavirus infection, according to a report in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. For this, Streeck examined people in the district of Heinsberg in North Rhine-Westphalia, which is particularly affected by Covid-19.

According to this, almost a third of the patients reported a loss of smell and taste for several days. “It goes so far that a mother could not smell the full diaper of her child,” the scientist told the “FAZ”.

“Others could no longer smell their shampoo, and food began to taste bland.” When these symptoms appeared, he could not yet say exactly. “But we believe a little later in the infection.”

The researcher and his team had also found that a fifteen-minute rapid test by Berliner Pharmact AG with the standard test did not detect an infection in two thirds of the cases.

Covid-19, flu or cold?

How do you basically recognize whether you might be suffering from Covid-19 – or whether the symptoms are more likely to be due to one cold or flu Clues?

Typical symptoms in humans are: dry cough, fever, but also shortness of breath. According to current information from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), corona patients in Germany also have these symptoms: Of 737 cases reported, 56 percent had a cough, 39 percent a fever, and 1.6 percent had one lung infection been found.

also read

A cold is rather not an alarm sign of a possible infection. Runny nose is common with a cold. Of the 737 corona cases evaluated at the RKI, 32 percent had a cold.

The following symptoms speak for flu: fever, fatigue, cough, body aches and a headache.

The best remedy for contagious respiratory diseases – whether flu, coronavirus or cold – is hygiene. Lots of hand washing, little handshaking, and caution when sneezing and coughing – best in the crook of the arm.

When do I need to see a doctor? Don’t overdo it. Emergency departments quickly reached their capacities. Those who are worried about being infected with the coronavirus should contact the family doctor or the local health department.

You can follow all current and worldwide developments regarding the corona virus in our live ticker.

Do you have any questions about the corona virus? Here you will find the most important facts and information.


Why big data is in a dilemma

Frankfurt At a conference for actuaries, Deloitte consultants said they could use consumers’ shopping histories to assess their health status as well as a traditional medical exam.

Using this example, the British computer scientists and statisticians Bryce Goodman and Seth Flaxman illustrate in a technical essay which dilemma lies in the attractive commercial possibilities of big data. They are often hard at the vague frontier of illicit discrimination.

According to the European General Data Protection Regulation, health data are particularly sensitive data, the commercial processing of which is only permitted with explicit permission and special precautions.

In addition, everyone has the right to have the algorithm used clearly explained, to protest against the result and to demand a decision by a human being if sensitive data is used.

But when actuaries use such calculation models – also known as algorithms – to help decide who gets insurance at what price, they do not access health data directly. “Either the regulation is interpreted narrowly and only the direct use of sensitive data is meant, then there is no protection against discrimination,” conclude Goodman and Flaxman. Or, in a further interpretation, the use of data is also meant that allows strong conclusions to be drawn about the sensitive properties: “Then the regulation is not practical.”

The latter is because the algorithms of the newer generation can hardly be explained in an understandable way. This is all the more true when it comes to learning systems that develop the algorithm independently. Then even the developers no longer know exactly which data is weighted and interpreted in which combination and how.

Risks to companies

The business ethicist Adair Morse from the University of California and the central bank economist Karen Pence dealt with the problems that arise in the area of ​​finance in the article “Technological Innovation and Discrimination in Household Finance”.

They highlight the major risks that companies face when rules and current technical possibilities fall apart. The great and difficult challenge for legislators and lawyers to find a workable solution is just as clear.

The good news is that data-driven decisions reduce the potential for the particularly unsavory form of discrimination, which in economic jargon is called “taste based discrimination”, ie discrimination based on aversion or prejudice. When decision-makers no longer have as much freedom to make decisions, they can no longer easily discriminate against people they don’t like.

The bad news: The second form of discrimination, “statistical discrimination”, could become more widespread through data-based creation of profiles and decisions.

Statistical discrimination occurs when, for lack of information about the individual, for example about his creditworthiness or life expectancy, one falls back on the average values ​​of a group to which this person belongs. A woman is classified differently from a man. This was common for life insurance companies until it was banned by the courts as discriminatory.

As the amount of data increases, it becomes more difficult for commercial users to avoid this form of discrimination. At the same time, it becomes more difficult for the courts and regulators to prove and punish them.

Statistical discrimination serves to maximize profits. This is a motive that jurisprudence accepts in principle as legitimate. But the limits of what is allowed are blurred. It becomes problematic, for example, if good faith or the higher information costs of disadvantaged groups are used to charge higher prices than others. This can contradict the rules for equal access to goods and services.

So far, it has already been the case that sellers, for example of cars or loans, use rules of thumb about the possibilities of different groups to compare prices for price differentiation. However, if algorithms can now calculate how price-sensitive each individual is based on a large amount of data and, in principle, you can give each buyer a different price, this will take on a whole new quality.

Discrimination can also occur in an unexpected way, for example if minorities are heavily underrepresented in the data sets used to train artificial intelligence. With facial recognition, this has led to fair-skinned people and men being recognized much more reliably than dark-skinned people and women.

If credit default probabilities are determined, the effect of the small number means that the estimate for minorities is significantly more uncertain. If the algorithm limits lending to a default risk below a threshold, that alone can lead to rejections for the minority, even if loan defaults are not more common in their group.

Treacherous purchases

While the courts were able to easily recognize and judge different insurance premiums for men and women, it is hardly possible today to determine whether there is indirect discrimination based on gender, age or health. Because the algorithms sometimes include thousands of features. Even if the protected features are not included, they are very often included indirectly, for example, because men rarely buy tampons and the purchase of medication allows good conclusions to be drawn about their age and state of health.

It is therefore all the more urgent that politicians, regulators and courts have to take on the task of adapting the relevant laws, judgments and regulatory requirements on the subject of discrimination to a new situation in which the unequal treatment is set up in the data sets and is “decided” by algorithms that are difficult to understand. “The decisions of the next few years will influence whether discrimination in financial services will become pervasive or not,” warn Morse and Pence.

While they do not offer discussed solutions to this problem, they do indicate where one could be. They consider the previous test system to be no longer practical. The variables used in a commercial decision are used to check whether there is any discrimination.

They promote thinking about an output-oriented model. According to this, discrimination should be considered, which results in people with certain protected characteristics being worse off than people without this characteristic.

At the same time, they complain that economic research cannot contribute as much to the necessary adjustment as it could. Research that puts the interests of consumers at the center hardly takes place. Instead, it is almost only about the interests of the data-using companies.

The reason is the power of those who have the data. “The algorithms are complex, and the data are the property of the technology corporations,” she explains, adding: “A lot of research is therefore necessarily done in partnership with them.”

More: That is the difference between AI and explainable AI.


UC Berkeley receives a $ 252 million donation to the Data Center – NBC Bay Area

The University of California, Berkeley, has received a $ 252 million donation – its largest gift ever – to begin construction on a new building for students and faculties studying computer science and data science.

The gift, made anonymously, will allow the university to begin building the Data Hub on the north side of the campus, as reported by San Francisco Chronicle.

An additional $ 300 million in donations will be needed to complete the building, which will house the IT, Data Science and Society Division, which teaches an increasing number of students in a variety of majors. More than 6000 of the university’s 31,000 undergraduate students take data science courses every year.

The Data Hub will house classrooms and offices and could also include robotics and artificial intelligence laboratories, research centers, public collection areas and a large auditorium.

The donation comes when the university starts an ambitious effort to raise $ 6 billion by the end of 2023. University officials say it is one of the largest fundraising efforts of any public university and is needed to maintain the highest academic level and campus programs such as state support are reduced to 14% of its budget.