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Hello World

Being Human in the Age of Algorithms
Written by: Hannah Fry
Narrated by: Hannah Fry
Length: 6 hrs and 51 mins
Categories: Science & Math, Technology
4.5 out of 5 stars (17 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Shortlisted for the 2018 Royal Society Investment Science Book Prize   

A look inside the algorithms that are shaping our lives and the dilemmas they bring with them.   

If you were accused of a crime, who would you rather decide your sentence - a mathematically consistent algorithm incapable of empathy or a compassionate human judge prone to bias and error? What if you want to buy a driverless car and must choose between one programmed to save as many lives as possible and another that prioritizes the lives of its own passengers? And would you agree to share your family’s full medical history if you were told that it would help researchers find a cure for cancer?   

These are just some of the dilemmas that we are beginning to face as we approach the age of the algorithm, when it feels as if the machines reign supreme. Already, these lines of code are telling us what to watch, where to go, whom to date, and even whom to send to jail. But as we rely on algorithms to automate big, important decisions - in crime, justice, healthcare, transportation, and money - they raise questions about what we want our world to look like. What matters most: Helping doctors with diagnosis or preserving privacy? Protecting victims of crime or preventing innocent people being falsely accused?   

Hello World takes us on a tour through the good, the bad, and the downright ugly of the algorithms that surround us on a daily basis. Mathematician Hannah Fry reveals their inner workings, showing us how algorithms are written and implemented, and demonstrates the ways in which human bias can literally be written into the code. By weaving in relatable, real world stories with accessible explanations of the underlying mathematics that power algorithms, Hello World helps us to determine their power, expose their limitations, and examine whether they really are improvement on the human systems they replace.

©2018 Hannah Fry (P)2018 Audible, Inc.

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A book written for me!

This book presents a wonderful introduction to a lay person like me with a basic understanding of how algorithms are affecting my life . Focusing on topics such as law, medicine, policing and so on, and with plenty of anecdotes and examples, Hannah Fry has done a welcome service by writing this book. I now have a better understanding of the influence of algorithms have on my life, but with the reality check that humans are still in control. Allelluiah to that.

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  • Samer Chidiac
  • 2018-11-24

Probably one of the Best books written on this

I didn't know what to expect when I started Hannah Fry's Book Hello World. I was keen to discover more points of views on the human aspects in the age of AI and Algorithms, and to be honest, this book deserves an award. It's very well researched, exceptionally simple to understand and relate to. Very well job and I highly recommend!

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Jake Martin
  • 2018-11-22

Complex subject matter, beautifully handled.

This experience alone very well could've sold me on the idea of audiobooks. Admittedly, I've never taken a keen interest in reading. Whether it's physical, digital, or through an audiobook, I find myself struggling to sit through even the best stories after an hour or so. Hello World, however, captivated me for the entire length of the reading, in large part due to Hannah Fry's wonderful writing and enthusiastic narration.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Bonny
  • 2019-01-22

Algorithms are all around - good and bad

At last! Hannah Fry has written a book that explains what an algorithm is (simply put, “a step-by-step procedure for solving a problem or accomplishing a task", what they can do, the pros and cons, along with well-chosen examples. What she's writing about are mathematical operations that include equations, probability, and logic translated into computer code. She clearly explains that computers don't think, but only follow sequential directions coded by humans. Because the code is written by humans, the algorithm can be accidentally biased or contain bugs, or the bias may be intentional.

Algorithms allow computers to scan slides quickly and more accurately for signs of cancer, guide the buying and selling of stocks on Wall Street, and "drive" self-driving cars. Algorithms can help us greatly, and also do great harm. Ms. Fry thinks that humans and machines working together is the best and safest way to head bravely into the future. GPS can get you safely from point A to point B, but it's also your responsibility not to drive off a cliff, even if Mandy's friendly GPS voice tells you to.

Hello World is an excellent, informative read, and one I highly recommend.

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  • Devin
  • 2018-11-05

Great

Really interesting overview of how algorithms impact human life in modern day. Hannah's narration is excellent.

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  • Brian
  • 2019-09-14

Great Analysis of our lives with Algorithms

Hannah does a great job in explaining what algorithms are, what their limits are, and why we should still use them, but with caution. By dividing the book into different fields she shows how algorithms can be used and abused in different situations and the consequences of trusting algorithms absolutely. This book should be read by everyone today to have a better idea of how algorithms and data work behind the scenes and to better understand algorithms in general. This is especially important as they are being used more in law enforcement, healthcare, and self driving cars. Hannah does an amazing job of explaining things in a way anyone could understand and explaining the potential issues with the algorithms while still being optimistic about their use. She also does a great job narrating. I will recommend this book to everyone I know!

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  • Darrin J. Lane
  • 2019-05-23

Everyone NEEDS to read this excellent book!

Hannah Fry sheds an essential light on algorithms, including their evolution, the unavoidable pitfalls, and how we can keep them in their proper place.

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  • Hillary Corwin
  • 2019-04-29

top notch<br />

Quite simply, amazing.. If I were a character in Farenheit 451, this might just be the book I would become. Her message and approach make this book a must read for anyone who wishes to be fully human in this day and age. Her insights are pure alchemy. I will listen to this book again and again as we enter the age of algorithm.

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  • czk_2000
  • 2019-03-24

Hannah Fry is absolutely spot on

Fantastic look at the problems and benefits of algorithms as they pertain to shaping our lives. Things to be mindful of and things to give hope - though reminding us to sit up and pay attention. Hope, if course meaning - we have a reason to believe that there is a zone where we can have the best benefits of algorithms and mitigate the worst. We must be diligent though!

Brilliant work!

I cant imagine this being read by anyone other than Fry herself. Perfect cadence, timing, etc. An incredible speaker.

Loved the book!

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  • AMertens
  • 2019-02-11

Thought provoking

I really enjoyed the topics and wanted to discuss them with everyone one around me.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2019-01-30

Hannah Fry is awesome

Hannah Fry does a great job. She looks at the good and bad side of technology in a fair way. Learned a lot.