Title: Algorithms to Live By Authors: Brian Christian, Tom Griffiths Category:#books Number of Highlights: 3 Date: 2024-01-10 Last Highlighted: 2024-01-10


Fundamentally, overfitting is a kind of idolatry of data, a consequence of focusing on what we’ve been able to measure rather than what matters. (2842)


In the 1950s, Cornell management professor V. F. Ridgway cataloged a host of such “Dysfunctional Consequences of Performance Measurements.” At a job-placement firm, staffers were evaluated on the number of interviews they conducted, which motivated them to run through the meetings as quickly as possible, without spending much time actually helping their clients find jobs. (2877)


Similarly, the FBI was forced to change its training after agents were found reflexively firing two shots and then holstering their weapon—a standard cadence in training—regardless of whether their shots had hit the target and whether there was still a threat. Mistakes like these are known in law enforcement and the military as “training scars,” and they reflect the fact that it’s possible to overfit one’s own preparation. (2896)