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Investigating the algorithms that govern our lives

Date: April 14, 2016
Author: Chava Gourarie
QUOTE: Venkatasubramanian is a computer science professor at the University of Utah. He’s someone who thinks about algorithmic fairness, ever since he read a short story by Cory Doctorow published in 2006, called “Human Readable.” The story takes place in a future world, similar to ours, but in which all national infrastructure (traffic, email, the media, etc.) is run by “centralized emergent networks,” modeled after ant colonies. Or in other words: a network of algorithms. The plot revolves around two lovers: a network engineer who is certain the system is incorruptible, and a lawyer who knows it’s already been corrupted. “It got me thinking,” says Venkatasubramanian. “What happens if we live in a world that is totally driven by algorithms?”

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