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Hello World: How to be Human in the Age of the Machine

9781784163068
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'Wise, sharp and witty, the definitive guide to living in the age of social media, algorithms and automation.' Adam Rutherford

You are accused of a crime. Who would you rather determined your fate – a human or an algorithm?

An algorithm is more consistent and less prone to error of judgement. Yet a human can look you in the eye before passing sentence.

You need a liver transplant to save your life. Who would you want in charge of organ allocation?

An algorithm can match organ donors with patients, potentially saving many more lives. But it may send you to the back of the queue.

You’re buying a (driverless) car. One vehicle is programmed to save as many lives as possible in a collision. Another promises to prioritize the lives of its passengers. Which do you choose?

Welcome to the age of the algorithm, the story of a not-too-distant future where machines rule supreme, making important decisions – in healthcare, transport, finance, security, what we watch, where we go even who we send to prison. So how much should we rely on them? What kind of future do we want?

Hannah Fry takes us on a tour of the good, the bad and the downright ugly of the algorithms that surround us. In Hello World she lifts the lid on their inner workings, demonstrates their power, exposes their limitations, and examines whether they really are an improvement on the humans they are replacing.

Cover:
Paperback
Edition Number:
1
ISBN:
9781784163068
Pages:
320
Author:
Fry Hannah
Publisher:
BLACK SWAN
Release Year:
2020
Hannah Fry is an Associate Professor in the mathematics of cities from University College London. In her day job she uses mathematical models to study patterns in human behaviour, and has worked with governments, police forces, health analysts and supermarkets. Her TED talks have amassed millions of views and she has fronted television documentaries for the BBC and PBS; she also hosts the long-running science podcast, ‘The Curious Cases of Rutherford & Fry’ with the BBC.