The Age of Algorithm

Introduction

The aim of this research file is to critically examine Information-Technology, Internet, Online, Digital, Media, Big Data and Social Media Network (Google, Facebook, Twitter, Apple) that emerge in a world characterised by proliferation of structured and unstructured algorithmic data. [1] This essay is concerned with the new calculative devices that have begun to shape, transforms and govern all aspect of contemporary life algorithmically.[2]

 

Online Worlds

‘Zero Days’ (2016) Documentary Trailer: https://youtu.be/mwxXsRafm1o

Citizen Four – Documentary [2014]: https://youtu.be/E8lW4_tpzO4

 

Digital Natives

A 12-year-old app developer | Thomas Suarez: https://youtu.be/Fkd9TWUtFm0

 

Big Data

Science Documentary 2016 | Big Data: https://youtu.be/m9D-v6r3NJQ

Big Data Revolution – PBS Documentary: https://youtu.be/bIY3LUZ7i8Y

Big Data will impact every part of your life | Charlie Stryker : https://youtu.be/0Q3sRSUYmys

 

Social Media Network

Social Media Trends 2017: https://youtu.be/HYa3vYqJ8JU

Does social media have the power to change the world?: https://youtu.be/Uppg_2nGo54

 

 

Google

[3]
Picture1

 

 

Facebook

What FACEBOOK and GOOGLE are Hiding from world: https://youtu.be/bOE1HFEL8XA

 

 

Twitter

[4]
Picture2

 

Apple

[5]
Picture3

 

 

Algorithm

How algorithms shape our world – Kevin Slavin: https://youtu.be/ENWVRcMGDoU

Yuval Noah Harari on the Rise of Homo Deus: https://youtu.be/JJ1yS9JIJKs


[6]
Picture4

 

Conclusions

The social and media networks are shaping the prime mode of organization and the most important structure of modern society. Society still consists of individuals, pairs, groups and organizations. On the Internet, interpersonal, organizational and mass communication come together. Using this medium, we bring the ‘whole world’ into our homes and workplaces. This communication revolution has dual structure results in several oppositions: centralization and decentralization, central control and local autonomy, unity and fragmentation, socialization and individualization. This is why it is claimed here that the views presented in this essay are neither pessimistic nor optimistic.[7] Therefore, the future must remain something that we can shape to our own design. It is vital we ensure that human volition held sacrosanct and we preserve not only people’s capacity for moral choice but individual responsibility for individual acts. And society must design safeguards to allow a new professional class of “algorithms” to assess big-data analytics – so that the world which has become less random by dint of big data does not turn into a black box, simply replacing one form of the unknowable with another. The algorithm helps us do what we already do better, and it allows us to do new things altogether. Yet it is no magic wand. It won’t bring about world peace, eradicate poverty, produce the next Picasso and can’t make a baby. And it may well affect how we think about the future. One of the defining features of modern times is our sense of ourselves as masters of our fate. At the same time, the algorithm may be used against us in systems that presume to predict out future behaviour. Knowing how actions may play out in the future will allow us to take remedial steps to prevent problems or improve outcomes. Algorithm’s predictions are not set in stone – they are only likely outcomes, and that means if we want to change them we can do so. What is greatest about human beings is precisely what the algorithms and silicon chips don’t reveal, and we must use this tool with a generous degree of humility and humanity.[8]

 

Email to request the full research file
skang015@gold.ac.uk

 

Footnote

[1] Louise Amoore and Volha Piotukh, eds., Algorithmic Life: Calculative Devices in the Age of Big Data (Devon, United Kingdom: Routledge, 2016), 2. [2] Amoore and Volha Piotukh, eds., Algorithmic Life, 4. [3] van Dijk et al., The Network Society, 91. [4] Amoore and Volha Piotukh, eds., Algorithmic Life, 26. [5] van Dijk et al., The Network Society, 90. [6] Amoore and Volha Piotukh, eds., Algorithmic Life, 31. [7] van Dijk et al., The Network Society, 272-274. [8] Mayer-Schönberger, and Cukier, Big Data, 193-197.

 

 

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