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A Human's Guide to Machine Intelligence

How Algorithms Are Shaping Our Lives and How We Can Stay in Control
Written by: Kartik Hosanagar
Narrated by: Joe Knezevich
Length: 5 hrs and 58 mins
Price: CDN$ 30.70
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Publisher's Summary

A Wharton professor and tech entrepreneur examines how algorithms and artificial intelligence are starting to run every aspect of our lives and how we can shape the way they impact us.

Through the technology embedded in almost every major tech platform and every web-enabled device, algorithms and the artificial intelligence that underlies them make a staggering number of everyday decisions for us, from what products we buy, to where we decide to eat, to how we consume our news, to whom we date, and how we find a job. We've even delegated life-and-death decisions to algorithms - decisions once made by doctors, pilots, and judges. In his new audiobook, Kartik Hosanagar surveys the brave new world of algorithmic decision-making and reveals the potentially dangerous biases they can give rise to as they increasingly run our lives. He makes the compelling case that we need to arm ourselves with a better, deeper, more nuanced understanding of the phenomenon of algorithmic thinking. And he gives us a route in, pointing out that algorithms often think a lot like their creators - that is, like you and me.

Hosanagar draws on his experiences designing algorithms professionally - as well as on history, computer science, and psychology - to explore how algorithms work and why they occasionally go rogue, what drives our trust in them, and the many ramifications of algorithmic decision-making. He examines episodes like Microsoft's chatbot Tay, which was designed to converse on social media like a teenage girl but instead turned sexist and racist; the fatal accidents of self-driving cars; and even our own common, and often frustrating, experiences on services like Netflix and Amazon. 

A Human's Guide to Machine Intelligence is an entertaining and provocative look at one of the most important developments of our time and a practical user's guide to this first wave of practical artificial intelligence.

©2019 Kartik Hosanagar (P)2019 Penguin Audio

What the critics say

"[Hosanagar's] 'predictability-resilience paradox' is conveyed convincingly. He excels in arguing for an algorithmic bill of rights, one based on the original ideal of self-regulation by government and by individuals.... Algorthimic decision making and its influence in our lives requires our attention and study." (Library Journal)

"Especially relevant to current political hot topics, Hosanagar's outstanding introduction to algorithms will appeal to and inform readers interested in learning more about the systems that determine what they're exposed to online." ( 

"Hosanagar deserves credit for valiantly attempting, throughout this thoughtful treatise, to widen understanding of a technology central to modern society." (Publishers Weekly

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  • Anonymous User
  • 2019-03-27

Opens your mind towards Algorithms and AI

Great book, with brilliant examples to explain the concepts of algorithms and artificial intelligence. Takes a balanced approach on the positives and negatives of AI and proposes a Bill of rights approach which makes a lot of sense. I have been working on NLP and machine learning products for a few years, even after that I got several takeaways and it improved my understanding and sensitivity towards AI.