The Formula

How Algorithms Solve All Our Problems...and Create More
eAudio - unabridged
Audio (7.43 hours)
Product Number: Z100103042
Released: Oct 13, 2015
Business Term: Purchase
ISBN: #9781469091105
Narrator/s: Daniel Weyman
Publisher: Gildan Media, Inc
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Description

A fascinating guided tour of the complex, fast-moving, and influential world of algorithms-what they are, why they're such powerful predictors of human behavior, and where they're headed next. Algorithms exert an extraordinary level of influence on our everyday lives - from dating websites and financial trading floors, through to online retailing and internet searches - Google's search algorithm is now a more closely guarded commercial secret than the recipe for Coca-Cola. Algorithms follow a series of instructions to solve a problem and will include a strategy to produce the best outcome possible from the options and permutations available. Used by scientists for many years and applied in a very specialized way they are now increasingly employed to process the vast amounts of data being generated, in investment banks, in the movie industry where they are used to predict success or failure at the box office and by social scientists and policy makers. What if everything in life could be reduced to a simple formula? What if numbers were able to tell us which partners we were best matched with - not just in terms of attractiveness, but for a long-term committed marriage? Or if they could say which films would be the biggest hits at the box office, and what changes could be made to those films to make them even more successful? Or even who is likely to commit certain crimes, and when? This may sound like the world of science fiction, but in fact it is just the tip of the iceberg in a world that is increasingly ruled by complex algorithms and neural networks. In The Formula, Luke Dormehl takes readers inside the world of numbers, asking how we came to believe in the all-conquering power of algorithms; introducing the mathematicians, artificial intelligence experts and Silicon Valley entrepreneurs who are shaping this brave new world, and ultimately asking how we survive in an era where numbers can sometimes seem to create as many problems as they solve.

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Author(s): Luke Dormehl
Genre: Science
Original Publish Date: Dec 01, 2014

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eBook
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Author(s): Luke Dormehl
Product Number EB00395293
Released: Nov 04, 2014
Business Term: 2 Year
Publisher: TarcherPerigee
ISBN: #9780698158849

Professional reviews

"Narrator Daniel Weyman assumes a conversational style in this wide-ranging and timely investigation into the expanding role of algorithms in our daily lives. For the unfamiliar, an algorithm is a set of instructions, a formula, used to solve a specific problem. Despite their frequent invisibility, these formulas are constantly at work shaping choices and outcomes in a variety of sectorsÑfrom entertainment to business to law and beyond. While presenting the case studies, Weyman maintains a clear, well-modulated voice and a neutral delivery, echoing the authorÕs intent to raise questions rather than argue a position. Though Weyman's British diction may periodically confuse some American listeners, pithy ideas like Ònothing is safe from a few well-designed algorithmsÓ will not go unnoticed, making for a provocative listen. A.S. © AudioFile 2015, Portland, Maine"

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