Automate This: How Algorithms Took Over Our Markets, Our Jobs, and the World

Automate This: How Algorithms Took Over Our Markets, Our Jobs, and the World


By (author) Christopher Steiner

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  • Publisher: PORTFOLIO
  • Format: Paperback | 248 pages
  • Dimensions: 138mm x 212mm x 20mm | 240g
  • Publication date: 18 December 2013
  • Publication City/Country: New York
  • ISBN 10: 1591846528
  • ISBN 13: 9781591846529
  • Sales rank: 225,091

Product description

How the rise of computerized decision-making affects every aspect of business and daily life The bot takeover began with high frequency trading on Wall Street, and from there it spread to all manners of high-level tasks--such as diagnosing illnesses or interpreting legal documents. There is no realm of human endeavor safe from algorithms that employ speed, precision and nuance. In this fascinating book, 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. We meet bots that are driving cars, penning haikus, and writing music mistaken for Bach's. They listen in on customer service calls and figure out what Iran would do in the event of a nuclear standoff. On Wall Street, pre-programmed algorithmic deals are executed by machines faster than any human could--leaving human investors at a severe disadvantage. But what will the world look like when algorithms control our hospitals, our roads, and our national security? Is a stock market controlled by high-speed trading bots worth investing in? And what role will be left for doctors, lawyers, writers, truck drivers, and many others?

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Author information

Chris Steiner is the author of "$20 Per Gallon," a "New York Times "bestseller. His writing has appeared in "Forbes," the "Chicago Tribune, "the "Wall Street Journal, Fast Company, "and more. He holds an engineering degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a masters in journalism from Northwestern University. Steiner lives in Evanston, Illinois, with his family.

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"