Your Waterstones card is changing, introducing...
TELL ME MORE
What Algorithms Want: Imagination in the Age of Computing - The MIT Press (Hardback)
  • What Algorithms Want: Imagination in the Age of Computing - The MIT Press (Hardback)
zoom

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

(author)
£24.00
Hardback 272 Pages / Published: 10/03/2017
  • In stock online
  • Free UK delivery

Usually despatched within 24 hours

  • This item has been added to your basket
Your local Waterstones may have stock of this item. Please check by using Click & Collect
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 Encyclopedie, 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.

Publisher: MIT Press Ltd
ISBN: 9780262035927
Number of pages: 272
Weight: 567 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 24 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
Ed Finn's What Algorithms Want shows us just how powerful computer programs and their helpers actually are, and the book needs no recourse to science fiction. -Los Angeles Review of Books
- * Reviews *
Ed Finn's What Algorithms Want shows us just how powerful computer programs and their helpers actually are, and the book needs no recourse to science fiction. -Los Angeles Review of Books * Reviews *

You may also be interested in...

Concise Guide to Databases
Added to basket
The End of Error
Added to basket
Machine Learning
Added to basket
£39.99
Paperback
Algorithms Unlocked
Added to basket
Purely Functional Data Structures
Added to basket
Understanding Cryptography
Added to basket
Introduction to Algorithms
Added to basket
Understanding Cryptography
Added to basket
Algorithms
Added to basket
£66.99
Hardback

Reviews

Please sign in to write a review

Your review has been submitted successfully.