This book begins with an algorithm - a set of IF...THEN rules used in the development of a new, ethical, video surveillance architecture for transport hubs. Readers are invited to follow the algorithm over three years, charting its everyday life. Questions of ethics, transparency, accountability and market value must be grasped by the algorithm in a series of ever more demanding forms of experimentation. Here the algorithm must prove its ability to get a grip on everyday life if it is to become an ordinary feature of the settings where it is being put to work. Through investigating the everyday life of the algorithm, the book opens a conversation with existing social science research that tends to focus on the power and opacity of algorithms. In this book we have unique access to the algorithm's design, development and testing, but can also bear witness to its fragility and dependency on others.
This open book is licensed under a Creative Commons License (CC BY). You can download The Everyday Life of an Algorithm ebook for free in PDF format (2.2 MB).
Table of Contents
Introduction: Everyday Life and the Algorithm
Experimentation with a Probable Human-Shaped Object
Accountability and the Algorithm
The Deleting Machine and Its Discontents
Demonstrating the Algorithm
Market Value and the Everyday Life of the Algorithm
Sociology and Social Sciences
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