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The UK exam debacle reminds us that algorithms can’t fix broken systems

When the coronavirus pandemic made it impossible for students in the UK to take college entrance exams, an algorithm was used as an alternative means to assess students for college admissions. However, the algorithm exhibited significant biases, especially against students from working-class and disadvantaged communities, and the decision to use the algorithm was quickly reversed. Could another algorithm have yielded a fairer result, or is the lesson that this is a task to which algorithms are not well-suited?


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