Algorithms and Human Systems

Writing about Facebook, Franklin Foer explores the concept of algorithms to highlight a more human element:

An algorithm is a system, like plumbing or a military chain of command. It takes knowhow, calculation and creativity to make a system work properly. But some systems, like some armies, are much more reliable than others. A system is a human artefact, not a mathematical truism. The origins of the algorithm are unmistakably human, but human fallibility isn’t a quality that we associate with it. source

The post itself is a useful provocation for the wider discussion of digital technologies, hacking and algorithms.

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