What Algorithms Want

Author: Ed Finn
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 0262035928
Format: PDF
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The gap between theoretical ideas and messy reality, as seen in Neal Stephenson, Adam Smith, and Star Trek. We depend on—we believe in—algorithms to help us get a ride, choose which book to buy, execute a mathematical proof. It's as if we think of code as a magic spell, an incantation to reveal what we need to know and even what we want. Humans have always believed that certain invocations—the marriage vow, the shaman's curse—do not merely describe the world but make it. Computation casts a cultural shadow that is shaped by this long tradition of magical thinking. In this book, Ed Finn considers how the algorithm—in practical terms, “a method for solving a problem”—has its roots not only in mathematical logic but also in cybernetics, philosophy, and magical thinking. Finn argues that the algorithm deploys concepts from the idealized space of computation in a messy reality, with unpredictable and sometimes fascinating results. Drawing on sources that range from Neal Stephenson's Snow Crash to Diderot's Encyclopédie, from Adam Smith to the Star Trek computer, Finn explores the gap between theoretical ideas and pragmatic instructions. He examines the development of intelligent assistants like Siri, the rise of algorithmic aesthetics at Netflix, Ian Bogost's satiric Facebook game Cow Clicker, and the revolutionary economics of Bitcoin. He describes Google's goal of anticipating our questions, Uber's cartoon maps and black box accounting, and what Facebook tells us about programmable value, among other things. If we want to understand the gap between abstraction and messy reality, Finn argues, we need to build a model of “algorithmic reading” and scholarship that attends to process, spearheading a new experimental humanities.

What Algorithms Want

Author: Ed Finn
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 026233884X
Format: PDF
Download Now
We depend on -- we believe in -- algorithms to help us get a ride, choose which book to buy, execute a mathematical proof. It's as if we think of code as a magic spell, an incantation to reveal what we need to know and even what we want. Humans have always believed that certain invocations -- the marriage vow, the shaman's curse -- do not merely describe the world but make it. Computation casts a cultural shadow that is shaped by this long tradition of magical thinking. In this book, Ed Finn considers how the algorithm -- in practical terms, "a method for solving a problem" -- has its roots not only in mathematical logic but also in cybernetics, philosophy, and magical thinking. Finn argues that the algorithm deploys concepts from the idealized space of computation in a messy reality, with unpredictable and sometimes fascinating results. Drawing on sources that range from Neal Stephenson's Snow Crash to Diderot's Encyclopédie, from Adam Smith to the Star Trek computer, Finn explores the gap between theoretical ideas and pragmatic instructions. He examines the development of intelligent assistants like Siri, the rise of algorithmic aesthetics at Netflix, Ian Bogost's satiric Facebook game Cow Clicker, and the revolutionary economics of Bitcoin. He describes Google's goal of anticipating our questions, Uber's cartoon maps and black box accounting, and what Facebook tells us about programmable value, among other things.If we want to understand the gap between abstraction and messy reality, Finn argues, we need to build a model of "algorithmic reading" and scholarship that attends to process, spearheading a new experimental humanities.

What Algorithms Want

Author: Ed Finn
Publisher: Mit Press
ISBN: 9780262536042
Format: PDF, Docs
Download Now
The gap between theoretical ideas and messy reality, as seen in Neal Stephenson, Adam Smith, and Star Trek. We depend on--we believe in--algorithms to help us get a ride, choose which book to buy, execute a mathematical proof. It's as if we think of code as a magic spell, an incantation to reveal what we need to know and even what we want. Humans have always believed that certain invocations--the marriage vow, the shaman's curse--do not merely describe the world but make it. Computation casts a cultural shadow that is shaped by this long tradition of magical thinking. In this book, Ed Finn considers how the algorithm--in practical terms, "a method for solving a problem"--has its roots not only in mathematical logic but also in cybernetics, philosophy, and magical thinking. Finn argues that the algorithm deploys concepts from the idealized space of computation in a messy reality, with unpredictable and sometimes fascinating results. Drawing on sources that range from Neal Stephenson's Snow Crash to Diderot's Encyclopédie, from Adam Smith to the Star Trek computer, Finn explores the gap between theoretical ideas and pragmatic instructions. He examines the development of intelligent assistants like Siri, the rise of algorithmic aesthetics at Netflix, Ian Bogost's satiric Facebook game Cow Clicker, and the revolutionary economics of Bitcoin. He describes Google's goal of anticipating our questions, Uber's cartoon maps and black box accounting, and what Facebook tells us about programmable value, among other things. If we want to understand the gap between abstraction and messy reality, Finn argues, we need to build a model of "algorithmic reading" and scholarship that attends to process, spearheading a new experimental humanities.

The Stuff of Bits

Author: Paul Dourish
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 0262340135
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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Virtual entities that populate our digital experience, like e-books, virtual worlds, and online stores, are backed by the large-scale physical infrastructures of server farms, fiber optic cables, power plants, and microwave links. But another domain of material constraints also shapes digital living: the digital representations sketched on whiteboards, encoded into software, stored in databases, loaded into computer memory, and transmitted on networks. These digital representations encode aspects of our everyday world and make them available for digital processing. The limits and capacities of those representations carry significant consequences for digital society. In The Stuff of Bits, Paul Dourish examines the specific materialities that certain digital objects exhibit. He presents four case studies: emulation, the creation of a "virtual" computer inside another; digital spreadsheets and their role in organizational practice; relational databases and the issue of "the databaseable"; and the evolution of digital networking and the representational entailments of network protocols. These case studies demonstrate how a materialist account can offer an entry point to broader concerns -- questions of power, policy, and polity in the realm of the digital.

Machine Art in the Twentieth Century

Author: Andreas Broeckmann
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 0262035065
Format: PDF, ePub
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An investigation of artists' engagement with technical systems, tracing art historical lineages that connect works of different periods.

Once Upon an Algorithm

Author: Martin Erwig
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 0262341700
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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Picture a computer scientist, staring at a screen and clicking away frantically on a keyboard, hacking into a system, or perhaps developing an app. Now delete that picture. In Once Upon an Algorithm, Martin Erwig explains computation as something that takes place beyond electronic computers, and computer science as the study of systematic problem solving. Erwig points out that many daily activities involve problem solving. Getting up in the morning, for example: You get up, take a shower, get dressed, eat breakfast. This simple daily routine solves a recurring problem through a series of well-defined steps. In computer science, such a routine is called an algorithm. Erwig illustrates a series of concepts in computing with examples from daily life and familiar stories. Hansel and Gretel, for example, execute an algorithm to get home from the forest. The movie Groundhog Day illustrates the problem of unsolvability; Sherlock Holmes manipulates data structures when solving a crime; the magic in Harry Potter's world is understood through types and abstraction; and Indiana Jones demonstrates the complexity of searching. Along the way, Erwig also discusses representations and different ways to organize data; "intractable" problems; language, syntax, and ambiguity; control structures, loops, and the halting problem; different forms of recursion; and rules for finding errors in algorithms. This engaging book explains computation accessibly and shows its relevance to daily life. Something to think about next time we execute the algorithm of getting up in the morning.

The Digital Mind

Author: Arlindo Oliveira
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 0262036037
Format: PDF
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How developments in science and technology may enable the emergence of purely digital minds -- intelligent machines equal to or greater in power than the human brain.

Nine Algorithms That Changed the Future

Author: John MacCormick
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 0691147140
Format: PDF, Mobi
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Every day, we use our computers to perform remarkable feats. A simple web search picks out a handful of relevant needles from the world's biggest haystack: the billions of pages on the World Wide Web. Uploading a photo to Facebook transmits millions of pieces of information over numerous error-prone network links, yet somehow a perfect copy of the photo arrives intact. Without even knowing it, we use public-key cryptography to transmit secret information like credit card numbers; and we use digital signatures to verify the identity of the websites we visit. How do our computers perform these tasks with such ease? This is the first book to answer that question in language anyone can understand, revealing the extraordinary ideas that power our PCs, laptops, and smartphones. Using vivid examples, John MacCormick explains the fundamental "tricks" behind nine types of computer algorithms, including artificial intelligence (where we learn about the "nearest neighbor trick" and "twenty questions trick"), Google's famous PageRank algorithm (which uses the "random surfer trick"), data compression, error correction, and much more. These revolutionary algorithms have changed our world: this book unlocks their secrets, and lays bare the incredible ideas that our computers use every day.

Teaching Computational Creativity

Author: Michael Filimowicz
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 1108165850
Format: PDF
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Teaching Computational Creativity examines the new interdisciplinary pedagogies of today's coding-intensive interactive media and design curricula. Students, researchers and faculty will find a comprehensive overview of educational practices pertaining to innovation fields such as digital media, 3D printing, agile development, physical computing, games, dance, collaboration, teacher education and online learning. This volume fills an important gap in the literature on creative computation, as practitioners are rarely challenged to reflect on or share their teaching practices. How do we design effective inter-, multi-, cross- and trans-disciplinary pedagogy and curricula? Brought together here are essays on the pedagogies that produce the so-called 'unicorns' - graduates who can code and create. Here, the intertwining of (what many consider mutually exclusive) artistic sensitivities and computational skills plays an essential role, calling forth a new kind of undergraduate curriculum attuned to the interweaving of skillsets and theoretic knowledge needed to create and innovate with ever-changing technologies.

Time and the Digital

Author: Timothy Scott Barker
Publisher: UPNE
ISBN: 1611683017
Format: PDF, Docs
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An original consideration of the temporal in digital art and aesthetics