Hello World

Hello World

How to be Human in the Age of the Machine

Summary

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‘One of the best books yet written on data and algorithms. . .deserves a place on the bestseller charts.’ (The Times)

You are accused of a crime. Who would you rather determined your fate – a human or an algorithm?
An algorithm is more consistent and less prone to error of judgement. Yet a human can look you in the eye before passing sentence.
Welcome to the age of the algorithm, the story of a not-too-distant future where machines rule supreme, making important decisions – in healthcare, transport, finance, security, what we watch, where we go even who we send to prison. So how much should we rely on them? What kind of future do we want?

Hannah Fry takes us on a tour of the good, the bad and the downright ugly of the algorithms that surround us. In Hello World she lifts the lid on their inner workings, demonstrates their power, exposes their limitations, and examines whether they really are an improvement on the humans they are replacing.

A BBC RADIO 4: BOOK OF THE WEEK
SHORTLISTED FOR THE 2018 BAILLIE GIFFORD PRIZE AND 2018 ROYAL SOCIETY SCIENCE BOOK PRIZE



Reviews

  • A stylish, thoughtful, and scrupulously fair-minded account of what the software that increasingly governs our lives can and cannot do ... A beautifully accessible guide that leaps lightly from one story to the next without sparing the reader hard questions... deserves a place in the bestseller charts.
    Oliver Moody, The Times

About the author

Hannah Fry

Hannah Fry is an Associate Professor in the mathematics of cities from University College London. She is also the author of The Mathematics of Love, The Indisputable Existence of Santa Claus and Hello World and regularly writes for The New Yorker. In her day job she uses mathematical models to study patterns in human behaviour, and has worked with governments, police forces, health analysts and supermarkets. Her TED talks have amassed millions of views and she has fronted television documentaries for the BBC and PBS. With Adam she co-hosts the long-running science podcast, 'The Curious Cases of Rutherford & Fry' with the BBC.
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