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Discussion on: Algorithms are ruining our lives πŸ˜’

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miguelmj profile image
MiguelMJ

Alright, it's fair to interpret "The Algorithm" as the proprietary components promoting different creators or content. However, I don't like to use the name "algorithm" for that, because in that case it is actually the interests of private companies that make the difference, and "The Algorithm" makes it sound like it's not something human-controlled. Private companies shouldn't wash their hands using that term.

And in the end, even if there were no private interests behind, even if the algorithms were completely public and open, they would not be bias free. And these kind of differences is what us, as experts, should communicate to the general public.

  • Algorithms will always be limited, so know what to expect.
  • However, there are components in them (the secret sauce) that give power to certain private interests, but those are always human-controlled, so don't blame technology: blame greedy people.

Thanks for your answer, Patrick, it made me think!

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patricknelson profile image
Patrick Nelson • Edited on

However, I don't like to use the name "algorithm" for that, because in that case it is actually the interests of private companies that make the difference, and "The Algorithm" makes it sound like it's not something human-controlled.

Just to be clear, I personally don't like it either! πŸ˜… I, for years, would cringe when I would hear folks use the term "hacking" to refer to essentially any form of nefarious activity involving computers in any form; and these are likely folks who probably have very little to no expertise whatsoever in technology (which is fine), much less an understanding of the historical context of the origin of the term "hacking", both in the old school and new school senses.

I've just learned to try and understand what they mean and then endeavor to help them understand what "hacking" really means to me. The same would apply to "The Algorithm" as well!

... but those are always human-controlled, so don't blame technology: blame greedy people.

Absolutely 100%. As experts in the field, it's our duty to remind people that these mysterious algorithms we speak of, these scary technologies... are made by people. For control and for profit.