The Master Algorithm: A world remade by machines that learn

WHEN machine learning algorithms that replace newspaper reporters became fodder for a recent episode of Comedy Central’s The Daily Show, it was clear that the technology had gone mainstream. But as Pedro Domingos points out in The Master Algorithm, machines that learn have been deeply involved with our lives for a while. If you use Google, Netflix, Amazon, Pandora, Yelp, Xbox or just about any online dating service, your life is being run by algorithms that are learning more and more about you by chomping on the data you, sometimes unwittingly, provide. “Society is changing, one learning algorithm at a time. Machine learning is remaking science, technology, business, politics and war,” writes Domingos, a computer scientist at the University of Washington, Seattle. For people in his field, the problem is…


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