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TED Quotes

How algorithms shape our world

It takes you 500,000 microseconds just to click a mouse. But if you’re a Wall Street algorithm and you’re five microseconds behind, you’re a loser. — Kevin Slavin

Synopsis

Kevin Slavin argues that we're living in a world designed for - and increasingly controlled by - algorithms. In this riveting talk from TEDGlobal, he shows how these complex computer programs determine: espionage tactics, stock prices, movie scripts, and architecture. And he warns that we are writing code we can't understand, with implications we can't control. Talk recorded 13 July 2011.

About the Speaker

Kevin Slavin navigates in the algoworld, the expanding space in our lives that’s determined and run by algorithms.

Are you addicted to the dead-simple numbers game Drop 7 or Facebook’s Parking Wars? Blame Kevin Slavin and the game development company he co-founded in 2005, Area/Code, which makes clever game entertainments that enter the fabric of reality.

All this fun is powered by algorithms - as, increasingly, is our daily life. From the algorithms used by Google, to those that give you “recommendations” online, to those that automatically play the stock markets (and sometimes crash them): we may not realize it, but we live in the algoworld.

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