Whats the Deal With Algorithms

Whats the Deal With Algorithms

Your 101 guide to the computer codes that are shaping the ways we live.

So are humans and algorithms mutually exclusive then?

Not necessarily! Consider that for many of us, the most familiar example of a machine-learning algorithm is probably the Facebook news feed. In this sense, algorithms can do plenty of good:

Surely most of us have had the experience of reconnecting with long-lost acquaintances through Facebook’s suggested friends lists. That’s an algorithmic operation, one that brings us closer insteadWhats the Deal With Algorithms of driving us apart. As Slate’s Will Oremus has shown, the company constantly fiddles with the way its news feed works. Facebook’s not just monitoring how long you spend looking at each post; it’s also carefully evaluating what we actually want to see, focusing on us, and not just on the underlying math. Similarly, music services such as Pandora Music USA use our listening habits to recommend new songs and artists that we might not have discovered otherwise, sometimes pushing us out of our comfort zones in the process.

Critics complain that algorithms are making our worlds smaller, cutting us off from one another. But these operations suggest that they can actually help us connect with the unfamiliar—and the long forgotten.

Jacobs great article can be read here, worth 10 minutes of your life, http://bit.ly/3bxKTYy

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