These TED talks helped put the use of algorithms into perspective and helped challenge my thinking of how they can influence individuals, communities, work environments and education.What interests me was the connection to how we understand and perceive something and our understanding of knowledge. The MOOC ‘The Brain and Space’ from my mini-ethnography last block covered how our senses and motor systems construct space using vision, hearing, touch, body position, movement and balance. We can see that algorithms take form in a multitude of ways but the experience and understanding of the data is what makes it accurate. Sometimes people are poor at making decisions and we fall back on algorithms to make choices for us. People will turn to the algorithm to decide outcomes, make designs, who to marry, what to study or even use google search engine to find out facts. However, there are flaws in the algorithm. Andreas Eskram speaks of us taking multiple facts from google then using our critical thought to debate and make our own understanding of the information which will in turn transfer to our knowledge of a subject. Fei-Fei Li takes us through the process of discussing how teaching computers to understanding pictures is in some ways similar to teaching a toddler to process images. Like the ‘Brain and Space’ MOOC she insists ‘Vision begins with the eyes but truly takes place in the brain’. No one teaches a child to see, they learn through experience. Therefore her approach is training the machine by experiencing both quality and quantity images. However, the machine can not appreciate the extra qualities associated to an image or the chemistry that an algorithm may miss on a dating site. Amy talks about dating using an algorithm to support her eventful experience. What is apparent is the human connection that happens over time in incremental steps, experiencing facts, images or each other either through a virtual environment or face to face, no matter the pace.
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