The High-Tech Poorhouse: An Interview with Virginia Eubanks

Source: Sam Adler-Bell, Jacobin, January 29, 2018

When algorithms are introduced into public assistance programs, the effects are rarely good for poor and working-class beneficiaries. ….

…. Virginia Eubanks, associate professor of political science at the University at Albany, SUNY, has spent the past several years exploring how automation has played out in the American welfare system. Her new book, Automating Inequality: How High-Tech Tools Profile, Police, and Punish the Poor, investigates three experiments in which algorithms are replacing or augmenting human decision-making in public assistance: Indiana’s automated Medicaid eligibility process; Los Angeles’s coordinated entry system for the homeless; and Allegheny County, Pennsylvania’s predictive algorithm for assessing childhood risk of abuse and neglect. …..