From Facebook and Google to Fake News and Filter-bubbles--the Algorithms That Control Our Lives

Book - 2018
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"In this book, David Sumpter takes an algorithm-strewn journey to the dark side of mathematics. He investigates the equations that analyse us, influence us and will (maybe) become like us, answering questions such as: Are Google algorithms racist and sexist? ; Why do election predictions fall so drastically? ; What does the future hold as we relinquish our decision-making to machines? Featuring interviews with those working at the cutting edge of algorithm research, along with a healthy dose of mathematical self-experiment, Outnumbered will explain how mathematics and statistics work in the real world, and what we should and shouldn't worry about."--from book cover
Publisher: London : Bloomsbury Sigma, 2018
Copyright Date: ©2018
ISBN: 9781472947437
Branch Call Number: 303.4834 SUMPTER
Characteristics: 272 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm


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Feb 11, 2019

“If you are regularly using Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter or any other social media site, then you are outnumbered. You are allowing your personality to be placed as a point in hundreds of dimensions, your emotions to be enumerated and your future behaviour to be modeled and predicted.”

Dr Sumpter is Professor of Applied Math in the University of Uppsala, the oldest university in Sweden and all Nordic countries. He researches machine learning, statistical models, and artificial intelligence.

He clearly discusses: Cambridge Analytica; how Google algorithms are racist and sexist; did Facebook sway the elections; how we create our filter bubbles; how conspiracy theories spread online; how women choose men on dating sites; and how books and records become bestsellers.

Dr Sumpter is an engaging and concise writer who helps us understand the limits of algorithms. It's not as powerful as we think. If we know its limits, then we won’t feel outnumbered anymore.

More nonfiction book reviews on Instagram @IvyDigest.


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