On a daily basis–and sometimes without even thinking about it–we interact with algorithms whose purpose and function we may not clearly understand, or even be aware of.  We live in an algorithmic world.

In some cases, the details of such algorithms may make little difference to us. When I am stopped at a traffic light, I may not know how the algorithm to turn control the lights in each direction work.  But other than thinking it’s keeping me held up for too long, the details of the algorithm don’t matter to me. Unless the green light in my direction is “skipped”–which I can tell pretty quickly–the process for giving me the go-ahead is irrelevant. I can tell the algorithm is “fair” observationally.

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