Bias Is a Big Problem. But So Is ‘Noise.’The word “bias” commonly appears in conversations about mistaken judgments and unfortunate decisions. We use it when there is discrimination. But the meaning of the word is broader: A bias is any predictable error that inclines your judgment in a particular direction. For instance, we speak of bias when a reviewer consistently recommends a particular brand.
Society has devoted a lot of attention to the problem of bias — and rightly so. But when it comes to mistaken judgments and unfortunate decisions, there is another type of error that attracts far less attention: noise.