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)
Love the book completely, I have to say I write code and I am an engineer but I read several subjects and I do not think my background is a factor for how much I enjoyed it
I never really gave much thought to just how much algorithms are running our lives. This explained so much about the history and direction algorithms will take us. Gives us hope and warns about the risks.
If there is ever a time I don't have at least 5 books in process on my iPhone or kindle app something must be wrong...
I've never been a statistician or enjoy complex math this story about algorithm and how bots are changing the world with the data they accumulate and sort through is eye-opening. I wasn't sure I could really enjoy a book like this but I listen to it in two days because I really enjoyed the content!!!i'm going to make all of my teenagers listen to this book so they understand the power and importance of learning how to program it is our future
This is OK I guess if you want a superficial survey of how/when algorithms became so pervasive, but boring if you actually want to know anything about the structure/logic of the algorithms themselves.
This was absolutely fascinating. In the prologue the author mentions how he originally planned to cover algorithms and how they affected Wall Street , which would have been interesting. But the way algorithms have affected all the other fields (medicine, self driving cars, organ transplants ) was actually MORE interesting. Great read!
Fascinating examination of how algorithms designed for Wall Street, have impacted our music, communication and decision making today. Gives a glimpse into where this might go and who the people are that lead the way. We need technological literacy as much as we once needed financial literacy. Life has changed!
Report Inappropriate Content