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New Report from Lee Rainie and Pew Research Center: Code-Dependent: Pros and Cons of the Algorithm Age

February 08, 2017 by Andrew Young

Yesterday, Lee Rainie, Network member and director of Pew’s Internet, Science and Technology Research, and Elon University’s Imagining the Internet Center’s Janna Anderson released a new report on the Algorithm Age. The report seeks to better understand the pros and cons of our increasing reliance on algorithms across many aspects of life. Rainie and Anderson note that, “Algorithms are often elegant and incredibly useful tools used to accomplish tasks. They are mostly invisible aids, augmenting human lives in increasingly incredible ways. However, sometimes the application of algorithms created with good intentions leads to unintended consequences.”

Rainie and Anderson uncovered a number of overarching themes relevant to our Algorithm Age, all examined in detail in the report:

  1. Algorithms will continue to spread everywhere
  2. Good things lie ahead
  3. Humanity and human judgment are lost when data and predictive modeling become paramount
  4. Biases exist in algorithmically-organized systems
  5. Algorithmic categorizations deepen divides
  6. Unemployment will rise
  7. The need grows for algorithmic literacy, transparency and oversight

Read more here.