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Life by Algorithms: How Roboprocesses Are Remaking Our World
edited by Catherine Besteman and Hugh Gusterson
University of Chicago Press, 2019
Cloth: 978-0-226-62742-7 | eISBN: 978-0-226-62773-1 | Paper: 978-0-226-62756-4
Library of Congress Classification TJ211.L457 2019
Dewey Decimal Classification 303.483

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ABOUT THIS BOOK
Computerized processes are everywhere in our society. They are the automated phone messaging systems that businesses use to screen calls; the link between student standardized test scores and public schools’ access to resources; the algorithms that regulate patient diagnoses and reimbursements to doctors. The storage, sorting, and analysis of massive amounts of information have enabled the automation of decision-making at an unprecedented level. Meanwhile, computers have offered a model of cognition that increasingly shapes our approach to the world. The proliferation of “roboprocesses” is the result, as editors Catherine Besteman and Hugh Gusterson observe in this rich and wide-ranging volume, which features contributions from a distinguished cast of scholars in anthropology, communications, international studies, and political science.
 
Although automatic processes are designed to be engines of rational systems, the stories in Life by Algorithms reveal how they can in fact produce absurd, inflexible, or even dangerous outcomes. Joining the call for “algorithmic transparency,” the contributors bring exceptional sensitivity to everyday sociality into their critique to better understand how the perils of modern technology affect finance, medicine, education, housing, the workplace, food production, public space, and emotions—not as separate problems but as linked manifestations of a deeper defect in the fundamental ordering of our society.

Contributors
Catherine Besteman, Alex Blanchette, Robert W. Gehl, Hugh Gusterson, Catherine Lutz, Ann Lutz Fernandez, Joseph Masco, Sally Engle Merry, Keesha M. Middlemass, Noelle Stout, Susan J. Terrio
Nearby on shelf for Mechanical engineering and machinery / Mechanical devices and figures. Automata. Ingenious mechanisms. Robots (General):