We see numbers every day, especially while on the web, but we rarely stop to think about what they mean. The Dictionary of Numbers is a new Google Chrome extension that can help put these arbitrary digits into terms that humans can understand and appreciate.
The tool allows you to gauge numbers in two ways, you can hover your mouse over a number in an article and get a quick translation, or you can type a value into the toolbar icon and get a few definitions for the number.
When you read that a fire consumed 300,000 acres, it comes across as just a meaningless number. When the Dictionary of Numbers tells you that’s the size of Los Angeles, CA, you realize just how huge that area really is. 239,000 miles sounds far, but with this extension, you realize that it’s actually the distance from the Earth to the Moon. These distinctions make numbers mean a lot more to the human mind.
Technology has taken a vantage leap in providing solutions for man. Before now, technology used to appear complex and would require a great deal of expertise to handle solutions available. Today, we have technology applicable in the simplest human activities as smart products with intelligent algorithms powering them as they make error-free judgments and provide intelligent and analytic solutions.
Does technology have all the answers?
This article from Credit Suisse, tells us that technology does not have all the answers because it has been found to exhibit “similar biases,” as humans. No one can discredit the impact of technology, but it is not totally free of human input and this is the reason we experience these biases in many areas we have technology holding foot.
Creating technological solutions transparently
This article suggests that the process of creating technological solutions be made transparent and subject to contribution from many people who would end up as users of the product – male, female, young, old, learned, unlearned and all other preferences as we have them. It also underscores the importance of having women on product development teams. This approach is not sure to eliminate all forms of bias, but it is a good way to start in order to appraise the full benefits of technology.
Technology as the connecting tool
Technology so far has been a major connecting tool amongst us humans. It is used and appreciated by all regardless of race, language and sex. In order to keep it less subjective to these arguments about human biases. I believe we should gather opinions on products and solutions before making them available to the public. This could be done by gathering input from intended target users and receiving feedback across the stages of production.
“Recognizing the problem is a start…success will depend on inclusive technologies that meet this vast untapped market.” This cannot be more apt especially at a time when we look up to technology for solutions. We should not muzzle our progress with technology by battling algorithm bias. The first way to avoid this battle is by reading this article here.