The Tyranny of Algorithms

Algorithms are learning more and more about us while we seem to understand them less and less. Somewhere in the past few years, we ceded some of our individual autonomy to ostensibly life-enriching algorithmic intelligence. Computational systems regularly tell us where to go, whom to date, what to be entertained by, and what to think about—to name just a few examples. With every click, every app, every terms of service agreement, we buy into the idea that Big Data, ubiquitous sensors, and various forms of machine-learning can model and beneficially regulate our lives. Algorithms drive the stock market, compose and curate our music, approve loans, drive cars, write news articles, and make hiring and firing decisions. Are they in charge? Join Future Tense for lunch in Washington, D.C., on Thursday,…


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