Algorithms Are Taking Over the World. Is That a Bad Thing?

What's to come?
Sept. 2 2014 10:45 AM

Techno Sapiens: The Automate Everything Edition

A Future Tense podcast about whether machines will solve our problems, or make them worse.

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Listen to Techno Sapeins Episode No. 5 with the audio player below:

Welcome to Techno Sapiens, a biweekly series of six podcasts hosted by Future Tense fellows Christine Rosen, senior editor of the New Atlantis: A Journal of Technology & Society, and Marvin Ammori, a First Amendment lawyer who has worked for Google, eBay, and Dropbox, among others. Each podcast will examine how technology—now and in the future—will impact us as a species, and how we relate to each other.

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On today’s episode, Christine and Marvin discuss online automation with Christopher Steiner, engineer and author of Automate This: How Algorithms Came to Rule Our World. The hosts ask whether we’re removing human error by letting algorithms take over everything from the stock market to driving, or if we’re ceding too much control to calculations that may have serious flaws.

Here are some of the links and references mentioned during this week's show:

This article is part of Future Tense, a collaboration among Arizona State University, the New America Foundation, and Slate. Future Tense explores the ways emerging technologies affect society, policy, and culture. To read more, visit the Future Tense blog and the Future Tense home page. You can also follow us on Twitter.

Marvin Ammori is a Future Tense fellow at New America, a practicing lawyer, and a visiting scholar at Stanford Law School’s Center for Internet Society.

Christine Rosen is a Future Tense fellow at the New America Foundation and senior editor of the New Atlantis: A Journal of Technology & Society.

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