How To Stay Smart in a Smart World: Why Human Intelligence Still Beats Algorithms

MIT. Aug. 2022. 320p. ISBN 9780262046954. $29.95. TECH
According to psychologist Gigerenzer (Calculated Risks: How To Know When Numbers Deceive You), with our technologically-centered world increasingly driven by artificial intelligence (AI), it’s important to understand how algorithms work within AI. Grasping what algorithms can do well and understanding their limitations is the key to staying in charge of our lives. Gigerenzer reminds that AI works best in a stable world situation (with little unpredictable human behavior). AI is good at playing chess, analyzing health data, and assisting the field of astronomy, but comes up short with dating apps, predictive policing software, and fully self-driving cars. After providing readers with numerous examples of myriad uses of algorithms in our daily life, the author turns his attention to exploring other tech minefields, such as our willingness to hand over personal data to companies like Google and Facebook, resulting in a now ubiquitous form of economy known as surveillance capitalism.
VERDICT Gigerenzer explains why technology is so addictive and offers tips for fostering digital self-control. A seriously compelling, eye-opening, and well-researched investigation.
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