9780262536042-0262536048-What Algorithms Want: Imagination in the Age of Computing (The MIT Press)

What Algorithms Want: Imagination in the Age of Computing (The MIT Press)

ISBN-13: 9780262536042
ISBN-10: 0262536048
Edition: Reprint
Author: Finn, Ed
Publication date: 2018
Publisher: The MIT Press
Format: Paperback 266 pages
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Book details

ISBN-13: 9780262536042
ISBN-10: 0262536048
Edition: Reprint
Author: Finn, Ed
Publication date: 2018
Publisher: The MIT Press
Format: Paperback 266 pages

Summary

Acknowledged authors Finn, Ed wrote What Algorithms Want: Imagination in the Age of Computing (The MIT Press) comprising 266 pages back in 2018. Textbook and eTextbook are published under ISBN 0262536048 and 9780262536042. Since then What Algorithms Want: Imagination in the Age of Computing (The MIT Press) textbook was available to sell back to BooksRun online for the top buyback price or rent at the marketplace.

Description

The gap between theoretical ideas and messy reality, as seen in Neal Stephenson, Adam Smith, and Star Trek.

We depend on―we believe in―algorithms to help us get a ride, choose which book to buy, execute a mathematical proof. It's as if we think of code as a magic spell, an incantation to reveal what we need to know and even what we want. Humans have always believed that certain invocations―the marriage vow, the shaman's curse―do not merely describe the world but make it. Computation casts a cultural shadow that is shaped by this long tradition of magical thinking. In this book, Ed Finn considers how the algorithm―in practical terms, “a method for solving a problem”―has its roots not only in mathematical logic but also in cybernetics, philosophy, and magical thinking.

Finn argues that the algorithm deploys concepts from the idealized space of computation in a messy reality, with unpredictable and sometimes fascinating results. Drawing on sources that range from Neal Stephenson's Snow Crash to Diderot's Encyclopédie, from Adam Smith to the Star Trek computer, Finn explores the gap between theoretical ideas and pragmatic instructions. He examines the development of intelligent assistants like Siri, the rise of algorithmic aesthetics at Netflix, Ian Bogost's satiric Facebook game Cow Clicker, and the revolutionary economics of Bitcoin. He describes Google's goal of anticipating our questions, Uber's cartoon maps and black box accounting, and what Facebook tells us about programmable value, among other things.

If we want to understand the gap between abstraction and messy reality, Finn argues, we need to build a model of “algorithmic reading” and scholarship that attends to process, spearheading a new experimental humanities.

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