The rousing story of the last gasp of human agency and how today’s best and brightest minds are endeavoring to put an end to it.
It used to be that to diagnose an illness, interpret legal documents, analyze foreign policy, or write a newspaper article you needed a human being with specific skills - and maybe an advanced degree or two. These days, high-level tasks are increasingly being handled by algorithms that can do precise work not only with speed but also with nuance. These "bots" started with human programming and logic, but now their reach extends beyond what their creators ever expected.
In this fascinating, frightening audiobook, Christopher Steiner tells the story of how algorithms took over - and shows why the "bot revolution" is about to spill into every aspect of our lives, often silently, without our knowledge. The May 2010 "Flash Crash" exposed Wall Street’s reliance on trading bots to the tune of a 998-point market drop and $1 trillion in vanished market value. But that was just the beginning. In Automate This, we meet bots that drive cars, pen haikus, and write music mistaken for Bach’s. They listen in on our customer service calls and figure out what Iran would do in the event of a nuclear standoff. There are algorithms that can pick out the most cohesive crew of astronauts for a space mission or identify the next Jeremy Lin. Some can even ingest statistics from baseball games and spit out pitch-perfect sports journalism indistinguishable from that produced by humans.
The interaction of man and machine can make our lives easier. But what will the world look like when algorithms control our hospitals, our roads, our culture, and our national security? What happens to businesses when we automate judgment and eliminate human instinct? And what role will be left for doctors, lawyers, writers, truck drivers, and many others? Who knows - maybe there’s a bot learning to do your job right this minute.
©2012 Christopher Steiner (P)2012 Gildan Media LLC
"Algorithms are affecting every field of human endeavor, from markets to medicine, poker to pop music. Listen to this audiobook if you want to understand the most powerful force shaping the world today and tomorrow." (Andrew McAfee, principal research scientist, MIT; coauthor of Race Against the Machine)
An excellent introduction to how mathematics and geeks are slowly controlling everything. I found it to be fascinating to listen to and very helpful in how I structure my own business and investment strategies. Make me wish I paid more attention to my maths teacher in school.
It's surprising how algorithms will or already do affect our daily lives.
It inspired me to learn to code more.
Everyone needs a little bit of understanding of how automated algorithms affect them.
I had completed listening to this book just prior to the political scandals about the NSA and IRS coming to the surface. This book explains how using so-called computer "algorithms" are used by governments and corporations in our lives.
Nothing we can do to make these things go away!
The best part of the book is the author's work in explaining algorithms and their new place in our world so clearly.
Yes, I have, it's well done.
Perhaps, "In the Plex," but I haven't had time to listen to / read that one yet; "In the Plex" is about Google's rise.
His narration is convincing.
I wouldn't make a film of this book.
This is a deep and complete book. I am a programmer and I was very inspired by what this book covers.
I loved all of the examples of algorithms at work and the story was told very well.
As a SW Engineer that is getting long in the tooth (punch card days), this book inspired me to rethink my next project/effort. BOT's are the bomb......
Personality: Intellectually Driven
This is an eye opening information and its analysis is nothing but trivial. Nevertheless the author manage to presented in a excellent style and pace. Highly recommended!
Rationalist, economist and transhumanist, interested in tech, science and entrepreneurship. Works in politics.
Lots of good stories. A bit obsolete. Interesting about ycombinator. But few actual algorithms to learn from.
This is a wide but shallow non-technical pop science insight into many of the algorithms that automate our world. It is interesting to the uninvolved people, perhaps inspiring to some, and a waste of time to those who know a thing or two about the areas discussed in this book. The narrator is clear but sounds like a dumb computer algorithm himself.
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