Here is a very interesting article on the dangers of the big data hype: http://spectrum.ieee.org/tech-talk/computing/software/are-you-making-a-weapon-of-math-destruction.
Author Cathy O’Neil (The mathbabe!) in her book Weapons of Math Destruction (What a name!) states that we should remember that predictive models and algorithms are really just “opinions embedded in math.” Well said, indeed. After all, maths is annother language – a very powerful one for emotionless, ‘logical’ calculus though.
Maybe time for all to take the Modeler’s Hippocratic Oath (Derman and Wilmott):
–I will remember that I didn’t make the world, and it doesn’t satisfy my equations.
∼ Though I will use models boldly to estimate value, I will not be overly impressed by mathematics.
∼ I will never sacrifice reality for elegance without explaining why I have done so.
∼ Nor will I give the people who use my model false comfort about its accuracy. Instead, I will make explicit its assumptions and oversights.
∼ I understand that my work may have enormous effects on society and the economy, many of them beyond my comprehension.