Category: algorithms

Book Review: The Public and their Platforms: Public Sociology in an Era of Social Media by Mark Carrigan and Lambros Fatsis

In The Public and their Platforms: Public Sociology in an Era of Social Media, Mark Carrigan and Lambros Fatsis explore the discipline of sociology at a time when public life is increasingly shaped by social media platforms. Published in the context of…

As social media classify and rank our ‘memories’, what will this mean for the way we remember?

There are few things more intimately personal than our memories. However, as more of human experience becomes mediated through social media, memories have become a significant resource for social media companies to exploit. Drawing on their new book So…

Podcast: Do algorithms have too much social power?

The latest episode episode of the LSE IQ podcast asks do algorithms have too much power? From the way your phone’s autocorrect adjusts your messages, to making life and death decisions on the battlefield, algorithms already play a significant rol…

Podcast: Do algorithms have too much social power?

The latest episode episode of the LSE IQ podcast asks do algorithms have too much power? From the way your phone’s autocorrect adjusts your messages, to making life and death decisions on the battlefield, algorithms already play a significant rol…

Is public accountability possible in algorithmic policymaking? The case for a public watchdog

Despite algorithms becoming an increasingly important tool for policymakers, little is known about how they are used in practice and how they work, even amongst the experts tasked with using them. Drawing on research into the use of algorithmic models in the UK and Dutch governments, Daan Kolkman argues that the inherent complexity of algorithms … Continued

Book Review: The Quirks of Digital Culture by David Beer

In The Quirks of Digital Culture, David Beer provides a patchwork of quirky vignettes that together create a representative picture of the cultural environment in which we now live, showing how digital culture offers a means of access, insight and possibility while also bringing the payoff of surveillance, manipulation and a sense of inescapability. Ignas Kalpokas highly … Continued

Book Review: Are Filter Bubbles Real? by Axel Bruns

As references to echo chambers and filter bubbles become ubiquitous in contemporary discourse, Axel Bruns offers a riposte in Are Filter Bubbles Real?, which questions the existence of these phenomena. While not convinced by all of the author’s arguments, Ignas Kalpokas welcomes the book as a must-read for those looking to critically reflect on some of the assumptions surrounding social … Continued

Should we use AI to make us quicker and more efficient researchers?

Paper Digest is a new research tool that uses artificial intelligence to produce summaries of research papers. In this post David Beer tests out this tool on his own research and reflects on what the increasing penetration of AI into cognition and research tells us about the current state of academic research.  When you arrive at Paper Digest you are welcomed […]

Book Review: Algorithms of Oppression: How Search Engines Reinforce Racism by Safiya Umoja Noble

In Algorithms of Oppression: How Search Engines Reinforce Racism, Safiya Umoja Noble draws on her research into algorithms and bias to show how online search results are far from neutral, but instead replicate and reinforce racist and sexist beliefs that reverberate in the societies in which search engines operate. This timely and important book sheds light on the ways that search […]

What a fossil revolution reveals about the history of “big data”

Improved technologies have allowed faster and more powerful statistical analysis and changed how we “see” data. It’s now taken for granted that the best way to understand large, complex phenomena is by crunching the numbers via computers and projecting the results as visual summaries. To David Sepkoski, that’s not a bad thing, but it does pose some challenges. The complexity […]