Are Algorithms Controlling Our Lives?
We know that algorithms affect things like social media, but just how much of our daily lives are they involved in?
Algorithms are pieces of code that instruct a computer on how to accomplish a task. Google searches and making posts require algorithms. They aren't necessarily good or bad, but we should know more about them in general. This interview with mathematician Hannah Fry provides more information about the role that algorithms are playing.
The main reason we should be paying more attention to these lines of code is because we use them in virtually everything we do--hospitals, offices, schools, and banks, for example, all use algorithms, and we allow them to make certain decisions for us that change the way we operate as a society. On the one hand, algorithms don't make the same mistakes as humans do--they are consistent and accurate. On the other, they can't read certain situations with emotions the way that humans can, as they don't have a moral code. That being said, the world of technology is still not regulated--anyone can write an algorithm and claim that it is beneficial for society, whether it is or not. As with all things, there are pros and cons to using code to make decisions.
In other words, we should strike more of a balance between relying on algorithms and completely writing them off. We need to use critical thinking skills and remember that machines aren't always perfect, but they can also be programmed to be incredibly efficient. In the case of artificial intelligence, we have to think of it as the invention of a concept, rather than an object. We don't know exactly how it will advance. It all comes back to balance--humans should utilize machines and appreciate how they can help us, but not everything we do should be dictated by code.
What is your take on this? Do you believe that we should live in harmony with technology, or that we should shy away from it?