The world needs to become more algorithm literate


AI and algorithms have been a source of hope and concern for this website for a long time.

We are not suggesting that people should be expected to learn the math behind algorithms. Just that we as a society need to become more aware of how algorithms are used to manipulate human behavior. Such manipulation has important political ramifications.

(From The Guardian)

But, like any invisible authority, such systems should be open to scrutiny. Yet too often they are not open and we are not even fully aware that such systems play the roles they do. For years now, companies such as Amazon, Google and Facebook have personalised the information we are fed; combing through our “metadata” to choose items they think we are most likely to be interested in. This is in stark contrast to the early days of online anonymity when a popular New Yorker cartoon depicted a computer-using canine with the humorous tagline: “On the internet, nobody knows you’re a dog.” In 2017, not only do online companies know that we’re dogs, but also our breed and whether we prefer Bakers or Pedigree.

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