The human factor — why data is not enough to understand the world

Gillian Tett, chair of the FT editorial board and editor-at-large, US, writes in the Financial Times how anthropology balances the insights of algorithms and AI.

These days Google’s staff is trying to blend anthropology with psychology, media studies and, yes, data science to create tools that might “inoculate” more internet users against dangerous misinformation. “We can’t do this just based on what we assume works. We need empathy,” says Beth Goldberg, Jigsaw research project manager, who was trained in political science but has now also acquired anthropology skills.