Just Pinned to Algorithms: How algorithms rule our working lives | Cathy O’Neil | Science | The Guardian #mscedc http://ift.tt/2n2HGXS
I read this article by Cathy O-Neil and pinned the link to pinterest as I found the topic of algorithms affecting our working lives intriguing. It made me consider the restrictions students face when applying for further education or applying for funding to support their studies. Looking at the different personalities of course participants and the psychology behind motivation we all need different incentives. If we were to have access to information that puts us under certain categories would that affect our performance within a course?
This post made me think of community cultures and our association with identity. Algorithms can help navigate us to people and communities. Some conceal certain aspects of themselves while others could be unaware of their digital footprint or some may not actually care. The things is, we are open for judgement when exposed online. Lectures, peers or ‘lurkers’ can make assumptions of ‘who we are’ which in return can influence how they interact with us online and face to face. Admit it, we have all found out a little too much about someone online and then acted like you were unaware until the information came up in conversation!
Just Pinned to Community Cultures #mscedc: Monica Bulger and Mikaela Pitcan interview Jade Davis about student privacy issues when they are assigned social media projects. http://ift.tt/2lUvTc5
This podcast was extremely entertaining whilst doing my weekly chores. It was enlightening to ‘listen’ to a conversation about data and algorithms rather than trying to concentrate on text whilst being stationary. I’m an active person and find it difficult for my brain to concentrate if my body is screaming for me to ‘move’. The episode left me a little overwhelmed by the extent of how data is used but fascinated at how we have evolved as a species. Machines and computer science has allowed us to overcome and create opportunity for many despite the fear that it can be used for the wrong reasons. Lister (2009) speaks of technology as invisible in an era of ‘technologically mediated self expression’. The customer is valuable and ‘we’ the people will deliver the content. Organisations and companies are creating operations that make even people with no technical skills or ability expand and publish information.
Lister, M. … [et al.], (2009) “Chapter 3. Networks, users and economics” from Martin Lister … [et al.], New media: a critical introduction pp.163-236, London: Routledge
Although not directly associated with digital science algorithms, this video has connection to algorithms in the children books that are available to date and highlights the importance of positive influences in Early Years. Now, if this is happening in books it is most probably influencing media and technology.
I love that we are not only coming together weekly to discuss course content and provide support through Skype but our chats help influence our activity. Twitter remains the easiest form of communication. Twitter conversations can be seen by the rest of the #mscedc cohort but an underground community is formed by my frequent use of Whats App, Twitter direct messaging, iMessenger and Instagram. We are an extremely sociable bunch.
We were sent course details at the beginning of the course and given instructions to set up our personal blogs. This video was used as an example for the IFTTT feeds. I watched the video during the preparation week and it went over my head as I couldn’t put it into context. It has since popped up in other blogs during the community cultures block and again through algorithms it has popped up in my YouTube video recommendations. This time the viewing was not only digestible but engaging, maybe I’m making progress after all!
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.