We haven’t heard this one in a while as things have changed a bit.  It was once the rage in the news everywhere, with article after article talking about “death panels” and who would be manning them.  Of course there were no “real” death panels but as laws and budgets were being discussed the assumption that certain people would have the power to make decisions with life and death over another individual permeated politics. Politicians used it heavily to sway voters.

Death panels still do exist though but not like we read about as we have very sophisticated algorithms that run on servers 24/7 making decisions that can in fact be viewed as a “death panel”.  This comes in the shape of some service or even money where individuals are denied access.  It can be “designed” with a model or it can be present due to “flawed data” and the secondary item here is growing by leaps and bounds.  We have all deal with flawed data for years and anytime you have humans doing data input, there’s always errors and we are accustomed to making corrections as needed; however the level of errors along with the use of shared data has changed this scenario in a big way.  Now when an error is fixed, it has to repopulate in many placed instead of just one data base stored in a silo. 

We have seen story after story of these types of nightmares that consumers have to battle over and over while banks and big corporations enjoy billions in profits by selling it.  It’s the best “free labor” thing going out there for data sellers as they get their money and they can count on us, the consumers to do all the leg work to fix their erroneous errors as we get denied access to something and its something anymore that has a major impact on some area of our lives.

Way back when the Occupy Movement began I started a series of blog posts called “The Attack of the Killer Algorithms” and my first post related right to the protests being all about attacking algorithms and at the time not even many of the protesters themselves understood it was this process that was upsetting everyone.  Even in the news we read countless articles about “what is their purpose” and thus it was hard to define.  It was enough that the group knew at the time “something” was not working.  Things have not really changed much and it still goes on but we have all become a bit smarter as it did raise an awareness all over.  Intelligent groups though did spring out of the demonstrations and exist today to help people when they are attacked by the “Killer Algorithms”.  This was chapter one below. 

Occupying Wall Street–It’s All About the “Attack of the killer algorithms”–The Unfair and Marketing Exploit of Ethics Using Math–This Could be a Subject for Michael Moore to Explore and Document In a Movie

Not long after the initial post I moved forward trying to identify where algorithms running on servers 24/7 were impacting day to day life for consumers and below is Chapter 5, another early article from around 3 years ago. 

“Occupy Algorithms”–”The Attack of the killer algorithms Part 5” - Nothing Will Improve Until Audits and Actions Takes Place To Correct Formulas Built for Profit Only by Corporations And We Battle Back With Math

This one was also pretty important as well and I was only up to Chapter 6 and I ended up with almost 65 posts giving them each a “chapter name”.  I just got tired of the chapters assignments but still write today about how algorithms come out of left field either by design or by accident and deny access to consumers and I’m right in there with everyone else of course and have had my share. 

Attack of the killer algorithms Part 6–Discrimination With Consumer Credit-Same As Health Insurance Wanting Consumers to Reconstruct Records From Many Years Past As Middle Class Turns Into Data Chasers-Days of Taking Risks to Get Ahead Will Be Limited For Most…Occupy Algorithms

This chapter has made the rounds everywhere and I keep telling people about it to bring about the fact that error factors have risen tremendously and what does one do when they have  a legal name that works everywhere else in the world except at Google who had a killer algorithm that cut me off and basically evaluated with data that I was a real duck and could not have a social media account, even though I have lived under this Blogger platform for 7 years, the algorithm couldn’t find me and verify and it was right under Google’s nose with their software.  So again we look at the fact too that sometimes data is not as connected as you think it might be.  This was a machine learning algorithm that had not learned enough and couldn’t determine that “Duck” could be a surname.  It was chapter 22. 

“I’m Sorry Your Google Plus Name Does Not Comply With Google “Names Policies”…Barbara “Duck Algorithm” & Was Using My Real Name All Along…Killer Algorithms Chapter 52

We are all subject to more and more “programmed” algorithms making life impacting decisions about all of us and we have grown accustomed to a lot of this but sometimes and it happens a lot for the sake of profits an algorithm gets out there that just bites, and bites and bites and nobody stops it.  We have lawmakers who just spend hours upon hours debating verbiage in laws and that’s about all we can expect from them as I have said over and over “the code runs hog ass wild” to get attention and make a point.  So what happened when the algorithms working the Healthcare.Gov site stopped, well you know that one we had to wait until they got fixed and fixed and fixed again.  This was not directly a death panel here by any means but it was a huge inconvenience and still is due to a bad model and bunches of algorithms that don’t work and when that happens we have major disruptions.  I just wrote about one yesterday in California to where patients and doctors are having to adjust with Blue Shield.  I still write about Killer Algorithms but got tired of numbering chapters. 

Blue Shield Billing Fiasco With Policies Bought Via Covered California - Checks Are Going To the Patients and Not the Doctors Who Some How Ended Up No Longer As Covered Providers…More Killer Algorithms Creating More Obstacles to Getting Care…

If you read the article, now patient have to pay up front as this was not the design of either the doctors or the patients but rather a bunch of algorithms not working together via Covered California and Blue Shield.  Both of which will shift the blame back and forth at times on who’s algorithms were not working.  Now that patients have to pay up front, did any patient not get seen or put off care?  Could be as this a major obstacle here.  If one patient really needed care and didn’t get to see the doctor over this fiasco, is this a death panel?  Could be as care was put off.  This doesn’t mean someone will fall over dead right now, although that’s a possibility but the exact care that insurers want and talk about all the time for patients with preventive care too, it’s not here is it with this situation, so you could consider this a “slow working death panel” as access has been either denied or interrupted in some fashion or another by a bunch of algorithms that are not working.

I thought maybe in 2012 this would be at least recognized and addresses but here is is 2014, not much has changed except the problem is getting bigger.

2012 Will Be the Year to Check the Math Used by Large Profiteering Corporations-Algorithms For Profit or Accuracy Is the Question–Attack of the killer algorithms…

You can’t really say the Consumer Protection Agency is doing much more than going after some low hanging fruit and of course we appreciate those efforts but they are just that, as again we are talking about folks that focus on verbiage only once again.  I didn’t think he would do much more and had my doubts way back then.  Be a skeptic when you need to be. 

President Appoints Richard Cordray as New Consumer Financial Protection Chief - Hope He Knows And Understands Correcting Flawed Math and Formulas To Battle the “Financial Attack of killer algorithms” On Consumers With Banks and Corporate USA

Some of this gets disguised as well to “dummy you down” to play a game to capture your data.  I would tell folks if you have questions about this about if you want to participate, ask yourself would you see someone like Ben Bernanke sitting down to a game a nonsense like this?  That usually guides folks into a different direction of thinking and a pretty obvious decisions gets made. 

Gamification–You Have Won and Now We Know All About You - It Didn’t Cost One Cent-Insurance Companies Have Games To Find Out More About You Too– “Attack of killer algorithms” Chapter 11

If you get sick, well those algorithms that work at credit agencies work against you too.  Sometimes the choice is run up a bunch of debt and get well and have all your data make you look horrific when the algorithms get done or pass on the care you need, it’s one choice or another and again this creates a potential algorithmic death panel if you will.  So, no the panel have not gone away, it’s the form of a bunch of algorithms that create death panels in different shapes and forms.  In this case even you collect all that debt and look like garbage on a credit report you pretty much are blamed for this with a lot of it being beyond your control. 

Sure lawmakers have tried to do something but again we are stuck with “verbiage” only here “while the code on servers runs hog ass wild”.  People in general don’t know how to really deal with flawed data as we have had so many years of conditioning that “what’s on that screen is correct” and anymore, you can’t trust it all due to the huge amount of flawed data floating around out there, but you are still judged, just this time you have a bunch of flaws determining “how flawed you are”. 

Senator Introduces Bill to Prohibit Companies From Using Medical Debt With Assessing Consumer Credit Scores–Attack of the killer algorithms Chapter 21 With Flawed Data

Folks on the data side of things keep issuing warnings and there’s folks out there much smarter than me and below is one example of this..where’s the public outrage?  The outrage doesn’t show up as it’s built with complexities beyond what the average consumer can understand and that means big profits for corporations and banks. 

Recommended Reading: “Where’s the Outrage Over Private Snooping?” “The killer algorithms Have Teeth & Don’t Care Who They Might Bite

Even Social Security has errors in their data base as it was a couple years ago their death index had about 30,000 or so people listed as dead that are in fact alive and well.  Those are some killer algorithms as the government has written you off as dead but follow this along a bit and see how the credit agencies attach their data and query it to a “dead person” so here’s  data created “death panel” working in reverse you could say in already making the decision that you are dead and everything else attached to Social Security benefits is dead too.  Killer Algorithms”?  It sure is because as a “data dead person” you don’t have access anymore.  Who has to fix it, you do, again the free labor force for flawed data is the consumer on their own dime.   In this case the algorithm have already killed you and you have to fight back and let all know you are alive, so again Killer Algorithms example with this one as the algorithms determined you are dead.

We are certainly never going to have complete accuracy but we could stand for banks and companies making greater efforts as consumers to focus on this instead of just the money they make from selling data.  Due diligence is dead as I wrote about here.  Buy up the company, get that debt, leverage it an have an IPO to pay it off, is kind of what we are seeing a lot of today.  Due Diligence is dead as long as the free labor pool to fix all the flawed data exists and that’s us and even the FTC spent time on 60 Minutes mumbling “we’ve lost control” but again they just do verbiage so no wonder they lost control…”code runs hog ass wild”. 

One Really Good Reason to License and Excise Data Sellers, Huge Breach As the “Data Selling Epidemic” Both Legally and Illegally Continues To Grow-All We Have Are Lawyers Who Only Do Verbiage While “Code Runs Hog Ass Wild” -Due Diligence is Dead

So death panels have taken on a new identity and it’s the shape of Killer Algorithms that work and react with us every day and I thought this was important to mention as all worry about the NSA, which is a valid concern and I’m not playing that down at all as that’s yet another set of algorithms we have to deal with, but those algorithms don’t reach out and touch you every day as the ones created by banks and corporations do, so their impact on your life is immediate.  I just call it priorities.

Take a look and watch the four videos in the footer here or go visit the Algo Duping/Killer Algorithm page to see how some of this works.  We do have death panels but they are comprise of humans, it’s the algorithms making the decisions and it might be a “slow death” panel or a group of algorithms that work together to form this “death panel”. 

Those Damn “killer algorithms” Keep Screwing Up Obamacare, One more Delay Added for Small Businesses, Static Text Laws and Digital Technology Crossing Hairs, We Continue To Endure the Constant Rise And Fall Of The Machines…

We do know that the government is way behind what is working out there with banks and insurance companies as they can’t model and just the shear roll out of Healthcare.Gov shows the huge danger here of just relying on verbiage as few at HHS and CMS really understand themselves on how algorithmic complexities work.  Back in 2009 I was afraid this would happen and about got my head bit off with a couple posts but as you can see now, it is what it is. 

Obamacare: The Continuous Rise and Fall Of The Machines With Complex Insurance Math Models Resulting In Spasmodic, Executing “killer algorithms”–And Gov Can’t Model…

A lot of this too is due to what I call the inability today to determine what’s a real world value and what’s in the virtual world.  We see this all the time and in the case of an algorithmic death panel, one might as “is that person really dead” (grin) or can I still talk to them virtually..yes a bit of satire here but seriously people cannot tell at times when real world values need to trump some of the stuff going on in the virtuals worlds.  Some good examples of this would be the Health Wagon featured on 60 Minutes on Sunday as they are out there in the real world fighting algorithms that deny access finding out how to work around them.  RAM, Remote Area Medical was in Las Vegas this weekend with their free clinic and both of these are “real” world focuses, doing good things to help folks in the real world while at the same time fighting the effects of the algorithmic death panels we have to deal with when it comes to healthcare.  Here’s what I call “The Grays” that are having a huge impact today when we don’t know how to see real world values versus some of the virtuals out there.  We need both of course but sometimes the values in virtual worlds come out and bite the real world as some of them are working with flawed models, the way someone else “thought” how people work. 

Virtual Worlds, Real World We Have A Problem And It’s A Big One With A Lot of Gray Areas Finding Where The Defining Lines Exist, Confusing Many With A Lot of Weird Values And Strange Perceptions…

I really do think the movie “HER” does such a good job with just the trailer showing how folks get lost.  In the virtual worlds everyone can be your friend, everyone can be LeBron but in the real world it doesn’t work that way and again this is the basis of how some of the algorithmic death panels end up being created. 

“What does a baby computer call his father, data”..are you getting this?  That’s a quote from the movie trailer below. 

Nobody better than Larry Ellison who’s been around data, algorithms and more gave us a very good warning too recently, again reminding us it all about people.

Larry Ellison, CEO Oracle, HCM Conference Keynote–”Be Careful About Virtual Relationships With Artificially Intelligent Pieces of Software That’s Smarter Than You“, It’s Really All About People”–Algo Duping and the Killer Algorithms Living Amongst Us…(Update) Video

So in summary here, the modern day “death panels” are alive out there in the shape and form of algorithms and many are created to control or deny access for the sake of profits.  We do need algorithms to help us manage today but how we use and interpret them is the big deal here and when you apply too many virtual values, you lose track of the real world and there’s the basis for how many of these “algorithmic death panels” end up being created so be aware that live out there every day amongst us.  Some may be slow movers where others have an immediate impact.  BD


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