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from BBC

Algorithms Are Making Us Small-minded

Your life is mapped out for you but, not in the way that you think. How predictive algorithms narrow your perspective – and ultimately your choices.

By Sydney Finkelstein

(Credit: Getty Images)Online retailers like Amazon offer us products based on our previous browsing habits – but that can add to the echo chamber (Credit: Getty Images)

We live in a world of curation. The internet — aided by algorithms that predict what we search, buy, listen to, read, watch and even who we want to date and marry — expertly helps to us find what we want.

Well, as long as it’s similar to whatever we’ve liked in the past.

And there’s the rub. The ubiquity of incredibly powerful algorithms designed to reinforce our interests also ensures that we see little of what’s new, different and unfamiliar. The very things that are at the heart of learning, understanding and innovation. Rather than taking us out of our comfort zone, the digital revolution is enabling each of us to live happily in our own worlds, and in the process closing down opportunities for originality, spontaneity and learning.

The best part of all: we love it this way.

How do I know?

Because we flock to Amazon to buy what their algorithms say we should buy. Because we read news that reinforces what we already believe. And because we even rely on dating sites that specifically seek to match us with similar people.

[ click to continue reading at BBC ]

Posted on December 18, 2016 by Editor

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