Algorithms give or take

If there is a shortage, we have to make choices.

Who is hired, which website appears at the top of the search results, who gets a loan.

And while we can make these choices on a case-by-case basis, on a large scale, we rely more on algorithms. A series of coded steps, inferences, and decision heuristics that seemingly improve as they collect more data.

At this point, it’s clear that algorithms are reshaping our culture. They determine how social media delivers content, how search engines highlight websites, how AI makes decisions about who steals or not, who gets a loan or not, that is. is everywhere, all the time.

And algorithms are not neutral. They can’t be. Every decision has consequences, and unlike the Pythagorean Theorem, there is no right answer, simply a choice about now or later, along a spectrum.

An algorithm take when he finds a selfish or flawed element of society and magnifies it for short-term profit. It finds habits or instincts that individuals might have and exploits them to do something that benefits the creator of algorithms without leaving the culture or user better in the long run.

And an algorithm given when he amplifies the best angels of our nature, when he helps us do the things we would like to do in the long run, for us and the people we care about.

A challenge for anyone programming in a monopoly, state-owned company, well-funded startup, or even a nonprofit organization looking for donors is this: Do you have the courage to build an algorithm that you can be proud of even though? This is not the case? also profitable in the short term?

Because if the answer is no, blaming the system is not going to help anyone. You are the system, we all are, and given the power of invisible and leveraged algorithms, it’s critical that they are created and maintained by people who understand they are responsible for the impact they are making. they have.

More on this here and here.

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