Comment: Taking data as certain can lead to dangerous decisions

As economists and policymakers increasingly rely on data-based machine-learning and AI systems, we must be clear about its limitations

The data we use shapes our view of a complex, changing world but data represents reality from a particular perspective. Picture: Getty

Friends of mine who work in the arts and humanities have started doing something unusual, at least for them: poring over data. This is due to the pandemic, of course. Every day, they check Covid-19 case numbers, how slowly or quickly the R factor is declining, and how many people in our area got vaccinated the day before.

Meanwhile, social media sites are full of claims and counterclaims about all manner of other data. Is ...