Human botification: From algorithms predicting to replacing brain's decision-making

Nine innovations creeping us out in 2019

EXCERPT: . . . In a world of algorithmic suggestions, Google is now autocompleting our sentences. Convenient, sure, but nudging us a bit closer to what Google thinks we should write may also be nudging us humans into robot territory. “A lot of this predictive analytics is getting at the heart of whether or not we have free will,” tech ethicist David Polgar told Fast Company‘s Mark Wilson. “Do I choose my next step, or does Google? And if it can predict my next step, then what does that say about me?”

Meanwhile, ride-hail drivers and other algorithmically-guided workers are confronted by a similarly crucial question, writes Alex Rosenblat, the author of Uberland: ‘Given that Uber treats its workers as “consumers” of “algorithmic technology,” and promotes them as self-employed entrepreneurs, a thorny, uncharted, and uncomfortable question must be answered: If you use an app to go to work, should society consider you a consumer, an entrepreneur, or a worker?’

How algorithms are controlling your life

INTRO: A new book by Hannah Fry, a mathematician at University College London, argues that we shouldn’t think of algorithms themselves as either good or bad, but that we should be paying much more attention to the people programming them.

Algorithms are making hugely consequential decisions in our society on everything from medicine to transportation to welfare benefits to criminal justice and beyond. Yet the general public knows almost nothing about them, and even less about the engineers and coders who are creating them behind the scenes.

I reached out to Fry to talk about how algorithms are quietly changing the rules of human life and whether the benefits of algorithms ultimately outweigh the costs. A lightly edited transcript of our conversation follows....

MORE (interview):

Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)