what extent will we rely on algorithms to sustain social distancing as we move into an intermediate phase of biosecure vigilance rather than biosecurity crisis? What would this reliance exclude? Can we develop collective habits of coordinating ourselves in shared spaces to the same degree if algorithms are orchestrating the underlying dynamics of the process?
This is an admirably prescient post from 2014 by BuzzFeed editor Ben Smith about the viral populism which social media has facilitated. It brings a new dimension to political life which eludes the familiar expectations of pundits: At some point in the next two years, the pollsters and ad makers […]
My notes on Rahwan, I. et al. (2019) Machine Behaviour. Nature, 568, 477–486 The proliferation of intelligent machines, ranging from machine learning systems through to their embodiment in robotics, raises the question of how their behaviour should be studied and understood. In this agenda setting paper, the team of authors suggest this […]
I’m saving this here to come back to because I’m very interested in this theme. Call for Workshop Participation Algorithms on the Shop Floor: Data-driven Technologies in Organizational Context Deadline for applications: April 19, 2019 Workshop date: June 14, 2019 in NYC at Data & Society <http://datasociety.net/> Application link: http://datasociety.net/algorithms-on-the-shop-floor <http://datasociety.net/algorithms-on-the-shop-floor> For […]
My notes on Caplan, R., & Boyd, D. (2018). Isomorphism through algorithms: Institutional dependencies in the case of Facebook. Big Data & Society, 5(1), 2053951718757253. Are data-driven technologies leading organisations to take on shared characteristics? This is the fascinating question addressed in this paper by Robyn Caplan and danah boyd […]
My notes on Seaver, N. (2017). Algorithms as culture: Some tactics for the ethnography of algorithmic systems. Big Data & Society, 4(2), 2053951717738104. What do social scientists mean when they talk about ‘algorithms’? This insightful piece by Nick Seaver draws attention to the elephant in the room: much of the […]
This looks like a very interesting panel: We are looking for a few additional people who might be interested in contributing to an AoIR panel exploring critical questions and issues surrounding algorithmic agency, power and publics. Researchers and media commentators alike are seemingly fascinated with the magic-like and opaque properties […]
From One Market Under God, by Thomas Frank, loc 2230: For all the revulsion expressed by books like Liar’s Poker and Barbarians at the Gate, the dominant note was starstruck wonderment at these “masters of the universe,” at their millions and their manses, at their Gulfstream jets and Mercedes cars, […]
In our discussion of metrics systems, it’s easy to treat subjectivity as a cipher, regarding people as passively moulded by algorithms or blindly governed by the incentives that operate through the institutionalisation of the metrics. My objection to the former is not the claim that people are shaped by metrics, but rather the […]
From Misbehaving, by Richard Thaler, pg 134. Social norms hindered it in this instance. Why could the same not true be true of online retail? The CEO of Coca-Cola also discovered the hard way that violating the norms of fairness can backfire. Douglas Ivester, aged fifty-two, appeared to be on his […]
Via John Brissenden
An absolutely fascinating account of developments in the newsfeed algorith at Facebook since its introduction: Adam Mosseri, Facebook’s 32-year-old director of product for news feed, is Alison’s less technical counterpart—a “fuzzie” rather than a “techie,” in Silicon Valley parlance. He traffics in problems and generalities, where Alison deals in solutions […]
An interesting case discussed on pg 85 of Unforbidden Pleasures, by Adam Phillips: We may live in the aftermath of the myth of the Fall, and the even longer aftermath of the myth of Oedipus, but the first traffic lights were invented in the United States after the First World War. The traditional […]
From InfoGlut, by Mark Andrejevic, loc 601: The fictional portrayals envision a contradictory world in which individual actions can be predicted with certainty and effectively thwarted. They weave oracular fantasies about perfect foresight. Predictive analytics, by contrast, posits a world in which probabilities can be measured and resources allocated accordingly. […]
I’m so glad these have been produced. I really wanted to go to this conference but couldn’t bring myself to leave the Digital Sociology mini-conference at ESS15.
I just had my card stopped by HSBC for the second time in a month and the seventh or eighth (I’ve genuinely lost count) time this year. As with previous occurrences, I spend twenty minutes on hold and go through a tedious security check process to confirm that my last […]