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The Feel of Algorithms
The Feel of AlgorithmsНазвание: The Feel of Algorithms
Автор: Minna Ruckenstein
Издательство: University of California Press
Год: 2023
Страниц: 241
Язык: английский
Формат: pdf (true), epub, mobi
Размер: 10.2 MB

Why do we feel excited, afraid, and frustrated by algorithms?

The Feel of Algorithms brings relatable first-person accounts of what it means to experience algorithms emotionally alongside interdisciplinary social science research, to reveal how political and economic processes are felt in the everyday. People’s algorithm stories might fail to separate fact and misconception, and circulate wishful, erroneous, or fearful views of digital technologies. Yet rather than treating algorithmic folklore as evidence of ignorance, this novel book explains why personal anecdotes are an important source of algorithmic knowledge. Minna Ruckenstein argues that we get to know algorithms by feeling their actions and telling stories about them.

The Feel of Algorithms shows how taking everyday algorithmic emotions seriously balances the current discussion, which has a tendency to draw conclusions based on celebratory or oppositional responses to imagined future effects. An everyday focus zooms into experiences of pleasure, fear, and irritation, highlighting how political aims and ethical tensions play out in visions, practices, and emotional responses. This book shows that feelings aid in recognizing troubling practices, and also calls for alternatives that are currently ignored or suppressed.

With the constant growth in computational information-processing capacity and the spread of smartphones and sensors, digital data and algorithms are shaping the everyday; indeed, for growing masses of people, living without digital services and devices is unthinkable. Data gathering that feeds into algorithmic systems occurs when people pay with credit cards, use search engines, take part in customer loyalty programs, click advertisements, and upload content to social media platforms; it takes advantage of details such as the model of a person’s smartphone, the time and duration of reading a news story online, and the history of goods and services purchased over the internet. Further examples that I gave covered pedometers and sleep trackers, detailing how the rules and procedures that they impose intertwine with everyday practices. I suggested that the culture we live in has become algorithmic in the sense that technologies organize our practices and interactions, promoting certain kinds of futures rather than others. What is critical, then, is that large data companies, mostly originating in the United States, have become controllers and gatekeepers that define how we navigate the online world, meaning that we are being managed by decisions made elsewhere, in corporations that have little interest in the society we want to inhabit.


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