From the OPTANO library

In this section we occasionally present books that we consider worth reading; because they impart knowledge, inspire reflection or simply because they are a fascinating read.

Today: Hello World: How to be Human in the Age of the Machine

by Hannah Fry

What is it about?

In her book “Hello World”, author and mathematician, Hannah Fry, reveals what many of us are not aware of – just how much algorithms influence our daily lives. Here, Fry asks the question: to what extent should we doubt the power of algorithms?

We often tend to forget just how much algorithms actually control our everyday lives. Finances, medicine, the police, consumer behavior, the courts and democracy are just some of the areas in which algorithms organize the world around us every day and make our decisions for us. This is indeed useful but algorithms also have a downside: they make decisions without questioning them. It is precisely for this reason that Fry calls for human algorithms – algorithms which help us  instead of just making (wrong?) decisions without asking us first.

Why should I read it?

The book has received very good reviews. Why? Because it focuses on a topic which often goes unnoticed even though it influences our lives every day. Or perhaps it is because of the many  anecdotes which readers can relate to and which lead to a deeper understanding of the effect that algorithms have in our daily lives. Even if they don’t provide an answer to the basic question of how computers influence our society, the points that Fry makes offer food for thought. A book that is truly worth reading.

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