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    Automate This: How Algorithms Came to Rule Our World (Hardback) By (author) Christopher Steiner

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    Description"The rousing story of the last gasp of human agency and how today's best and brightest minds are endeavoring to put an end to it." It used to be that to diagnose an illness, interpret legal documents, analyze foreign policy, or write a newspaper article you needed a human being with specific skills--and maybe an advanced degree or two. These days, high-level tasks are increasingly being handled by algorithms that can do precise work not only with speed but also with nuance. These "bots" started with human programming and logic, but now their reach extends beyond what their creators ever expected. In this fascinating, frightening book, Christopher Steiner tells the story of how algorithms took over--and shows why the "bot revolution" is about to spill into every aspect of our lives, often silently, without our knowledge. The May 2010 "Flash Crash" exposed Wall Street's reliance on trading bots to the tune of a 998-point market drop and $1 trillion in vanished market value. But that was just the beginning. In "Automate This," we meet bots that are driving cars, penning haiku, and writing music mistaken for Bach's. They listen in on our customer service calls and figure out what Iran would do in the event of a nuclear standoff. There are algorithms that can pick out the most cohesive crew of astronauts for a space mission or identify the next Jeremy Lin. Some can even ingest statistics from baseball games and spit out pitch-perfect sports journalism indistinguishable from that produced by humans. The interaction of man and machine can make our lives easier. But what will the world look like when algorithms control our hospitals, our roads, our culture, and our national security? What hap-pens to businesses when we automate judgment and eliminate human instinct? And what role will be left for doctors, lawyers, writers, truck drivers, and many others? Who knows--maybe there's a bot learning to do your job this minute.


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  • Full bibliographic data for Automate This

    Title
    Automate This
    Subtitle
    How Algorithms Came to Rule Our World
    Authors and contributors
    By (author) Christopher Steiner
    Physical properties
    Format: Hardback
    Number of pages: 256
    Width: 159 mm
    Height: 234 mm
    Thickness: 23 mm
    Weight: 440 g
    Language
    English
    ISBN
    ISBN 13: 9781591844921
    ISBN 10: 1591844924
    Classifications

    B&T Merchandise Category: GEN
    B&T Book Type: NF
    BIC E4L: SOC
    B&T Modifier: Region of Publication: 01
    Nielsen BookScan Product Class 3: S3.3
    BIC subject category V2: JFF
    B&T Modifier: Academic Level: 05
    BIC subject category V2: PDR
    B&T General Subject: 180
    BISAC V2.8: BUS019000
    B&T Modifier: Text Format: 01
    LC subject heading: ,
    BISAC V2.8: BUS027000
    Ingram Subject Code: XG
    Libri: I-XG
    BISAC V2.8: BUS036000
    B&T Approval Code: A47450000
    BISAC V2.8: COM079000, MAT003000
    B&T Approval Code: A48403048
    BISAC V2.8: COM051300, COM072000
    B&T Approval Code: A93540000
    LC subject heading: ,
    DC22: 332.0113
    LC subject heading: ,
    DC23: 303.4834
    DC22: 332.01/13
    LC classification: HG106 .S74 2012
    LC subject heading: ,
    Publisher
    Penguin Putnam Inc
    Imprint name
    PORTFOLIO
    Publication date
    03 January 2013
    Publication City/Country
    New York
    Author Information
    Christopher Steiner is the cofounder and co-CEO of Aisle50, a Y Combinator start-up offering online grocery deals. An engineer, Steiner was pre-viously a technology staff writer at Forbes and the Chicago Tribune. He is also the author of "$20 per Gallon," a national bestseller. He lives in Evanston, Illinois, with his wife, Sarah, and their children.
    Review quote
    "[Steiner] excels in bringing a dry subject to life."--"Financial Times" "As readers follow Steiner in his whirlwind tour of algorithm applications, they will marvel at the versatility of a mathematical tool understood only by a small circle of experts. Readers peer over the experts' shoulders long enough to trace the decision-tree logic of an individual algorithm and to follow the cascading dynamics of the linked algorithms that drive the "bots" now handling everything from putting astronauts into space to matching compatible personalities venturing into the dating scene.... An accessible foray into computer programming that has become a hidden but pervasive presence."--Bryce Christensen, "Booklist" "Algorithms are affecting every field of human endeavor, from markets to medi-cine, poker to pop music. Read this book if you want to understand the most powerful force shaping the world today and tomorrow."--Andrew McAfee, principal research scientist, MIT; coauthor of "Race Against the Machine" "Christopher Steiner knows how to find terrific stories and tell them well. He has written a lively narrative with humans at its center. To be sure, its subject is important, but the book is also fun."--Randall Stross, author of "Planet Google" and "The Launch Pad"