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tsuomela : algorithms   73

What Algorithms Want | The MIT Press
"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."
book  publisher  algorithms  meaning  desire  technology  sts 
march 2017 by tsuomela
Political Bots | Project on Algorithms, Computational Propaganda, and Digital Politics
"Political bots are manipulating public opinion over major social networking applications. This project enables a new team of social and information scientists to investigate the impact of automated scripts, commonly called bots, on social media. We study both the bot scripts and the people making such bots, and then work with computer scientists to improve the way we catch and stop such bots. Experience suggests that political bots are most likely to appear during an international crisis, and are usually designed to promote the interests of a government in trouble. Political actors have used bots to manipulate conversations, demobilize opposition, and generate false support on popular sites like Twitter and Facebook from the U.S. as well as Sina Weibo from China. The first stage of this research is international fieldwork with the political consultants and computer experts who are commissioned to make bots. Second, the we are building an original database of political incidents involving bots. Finally, the we are using this knowledge to make better tools for detecting political bots when they appear. We are doing “real-time” social and information science, and actively disseminating their findings to journalists, industry, and foreign policy experts. By developing an a network of experts in political bot detection and an original data set, the researchers will not only have a better understanding of how bots are manipulating social networks but also advance the conversation in the social sciences, computer sciences, and industry about the size of the problem and the possible solutions."
political-science  information-science  bots  politics  propaganda  algorithms 
october 2016 by tsuomela
The paradox of procedurally generated video games.
"Algorithmically designed video game worlds are more personal because they lack personality."
games  game-studies  algorithms  design  freedom  exploration 
october 2016 by tsuomela
The Ethics of Algorithms
"The Ethics of Algorithms is a combination research and education project. It aims to investigate the ethics and values of the computer scientists, information scientists, and software engineers who create algorithms. This research and education project aims to both bridge silos between philosophical and social scientific approaches to ethics to develop an integrated theoretical approach to ethics. Such a theoretical approach simultaneously identifies the analytical, moral reasoning that is happening during the conceptualization and design phase as well as critically analyzes the interplay between an individual's personal ethics and values and the ethics and values created by aspects of policies, institutional, economic, and cultural contexts. The proposed research furthers the literature on information ethics by taking an upstream approach that focuses on the design process. Finally, by focusing on algorithms, the proposed research will contribute to broader discussions about ethics, values, and big data. Algorithms are the driving technique behind the creation of big data sets yet there is little talk about the decisions and values that shape algorithm design and thus impact big data content. "
ethics  algorithms  big-data  philosophy  computer-science  technology  sts 
may 2016 by tsuomela
Why Twitter Should Not Algorithmically Curate the Timeline — The Message — Medium
"There is so much Twitter can do try to improve the user experience, for both the experienced and the beginner. But I hope that it does not algorithmically curate the feed, not because I love the chronology per se, but because I value people’s judgement. Yes, Twitter can make it easier to access that judgment in more varied ways but stepping between people I choose to follow and me is not the answer."
twitter  design  algorithms  filtering  filters  emergence  intelligence 
september 2014 by tsuomela
Ultrafast Trades Trigger Black Swan Events Every Day, Say Econophysicists - Technology Review
The US financial markets have suffered over 18,000 extreme price changes caused by ultrafast trading, according to a new study of market data between 2006 and 2011
technology  finance  markets  algorithms  technology-effects  economics  econophysics  complexity 
february 2012 by tsuomela
[1005.4117] Random Numbers in Scientific Computing: An Introduction
Random numbers play a crucial role in science and industry. Many numerical methods require the use of random numbers, in particular the Monte Carlo method. Therefore it is of paramount importance to have efficient random number generators. The differences, advantages and disadvantages of true and pseudo random number generators are discussed with an emphasis on the intrinsic details of modern and fast pseudo random number generators.
randomness  random  mathematics  science  physics  algorithms  lecture  modeling  reference  simulation 
june 2010 by tsuomela
Essentials of Metaheuristics
This is an open set of lecture notes on metaheuristics algorithms, intended for undergraduate students, practitioners, programmers, and other non-experts. It was developed as a series of lecture notes for an undergraduate course I taught at GMU.
book  programming  algorithms  optimization  metaheuristics  heuristic  via:vaguery 
august 2009 by tsuomela
The Church-Turing Thesis: Breaking the Myth | Lambda the Ultimate
This paper seeks to explode the myth that Turing Machines (TM) are the universal model for all computation.
computer  computer-science  algorithms  theory  mathematics 
july 2009 by tsuomela
[cs/0610105] How To Break Anonymity of the Netflix Prize Dataset
We apply our de-anonymization methodology to the Netflix Prize dataset, which contains anonymous movie ratings of 500,000 subscribers of Netflix, the world's largest online movie rental service. We demonstrate that an adversary who knows only a little bit
computer  database  security  anonymity  algorithms  statistics 
december 2007 by tsuomela
Modeling the Small-World Phenomenon with Local Network Flow
We introduce an improved hybrid model that combines a global graph (a random power law graph) with a local graph (a graph with high local connectivity defined by network flow). We present an efficient algorithm that extracts a local graph from a given rea
network-analysis  network  small-world  algorithms  complexity 
december 2007 by tsuomela

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