Are you a concerned citizen of the modern world? Do you ever worry that algorithms are stealing your data? Do you secretly have little idea what algorithms and data actually are? Then Hello World is for you ... This book illustrates why good science writers are essential. 'We have a tendency to overtrust anything we don’t understand,' Fry says. And if we don’t understand it, those difficult questions will be answered by those who do – pharmaceutical companies, malign governments and the like. It’s time to pull back the curtain on the algorithms that shape our lives. Because, as Fry says, 'the future doesn’t just happen. We create it.'
...Hannah Fry, a mathematician...has produced is a stylish, thoughtful and scrupulously fair-minded account of what the software that increasingly governs our world can and cannot do ... The best chapters in Hello World deal with crime and justice. Algorithms are already pervasive in policing. The Kent force uses a package called PredPol, which can forecast where in the county crime is likely and so direct its patrols. Durham constabulary has a piece of artificial intelligence that can calculate the risk that suspects will reoffend ... Probably the most annoying thing a critic can do to a writer is to chastise them for leaving things out. Of course they do. That’s what writing is. All the same, this book is scarcely 200 pages long, and I would very much have liked to read more of Fry’s insights into the way algorithms work in politics, advertising and social media...Still, Hello World ranks alongside Timandra Harkness’s Big Data and Cathy O’Neil’s Weapons of Math Destruction as one of the best books yet written on data and algorithms.
Denver police acted quickly and violently when facial-recognition software identified financial advisor Steve Talley as the perpetrator of two area bank robberies. But precisely because that computerized identification proved erroneous—and costly and painful for Talley—Fry highlights this episode as symptomatic of a problem growing ever more inescapable in a world remade by computer algorithms ... A lucid and timely analysis.
Forget about the singularity: The thinking machines are already upon us, and they make extraordinarily complex decisions, from how to battle cancer to whether to send someone to jail. The central question about artificial intelligence and the algorithms that drive it is whether we can trust them to do the right thing, especially if we are ceding decision-making power to mathematical constructs and probabilities ... A well-constructed tour of technology and its discontents—timely, too, given the increasing prominence of AI in our daily lives.
Fry, a University College London math professor, invites readers to examine how algorithms affect their lives. She guides her audience through understanding what algorithms are...and thoughtfully commends on how they are used, such as in the fields of medicine, criminal justice, art, and transportation, to help people make more consistent decisions and to improve public safety ...This is an intriguing take on a timely topic.