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Download Automate This: How Algorithms Came to Rule Our World Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Automate This: How Algorithms Came to Rule Our World, by Christopher Steiner Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (296 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Christopher Steiner Narrator: Walter Dixo Publisher: Gildan Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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It used to be that to diagnose an illness, interpret legal documents, analyze foreign policy, or write a newspaper article you needed a human being with specific skills—and maybe an advanced degree or two. These days, high-level tasks are increasingly being handled by algorithms that can do precise work not only with speed but also with nuance. These “bots” started with human programming and logic, but now their reach extends beyond what their creators ever expected.

In this fascinating, frightening audiobook, Christopher Steiner tells the story of how algorithms took over—and shows why the “bot revolution” is about to spill into every aspect of our lives, often silently, without our knowledge.

The May 2010 “Flash Crash” exposed Wall Street’s reliance on trading bots to the tune of a 998-point market drop and $1 trillion in vanished market value. But that was just the beginning. In Automate This, we meet bots that are driving cars, penning haiku, and writing music mistaken for Bach’s. They listen in on our customer service calls and figure out what Iran would do in the event of a nuclear standoff. There are algorithms that can pick out the most cohesive crew of astronauts for a space mission or identify the next Jeremy Lin. Some can even ingest statistics from baseball games and spit out pitch-perfect sports journalism indistinguishable from that produced by humans.

The interaction of man and machine can make our lives easier. But what will the world look like when algorithms control our hospitals, our roads, our culture, and our national security? What happens to businesses when we automate judgment and eliminate human instinct? And what role will be left for doctors, lawyers, writers, truck drivers, and many others?

Who knows—maybe there’s a bot learning to do your job this very minute.

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Quotes & Awards

  • Algorithms are affecting every field of human endeavor, from markets to medicine, poker to pop music. Listen to this audiobook if you want to understand the most powerful force shaping the world today and tomorrow. Andrew McAfee, principal research scientist, MIT; coauthor of Race Against the Machine

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by J.W. Nugent | 2/18/2014

    " Automate this is an eye opening account of the power in the application of Algorithms in technology today. The extension of control through this mathematical function is amazing. The future is both exciting and terribly problematic when one considers the ethical problem faced today. The exponential growth in use will be equivalent to the promulgation of personal computers. Expanding technology will actually shorten the half life evolution of Algorithmic proliferation and for good or bad change the world as we know it. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by Cory | 2/16/2014

    " Just a cursory look at how algorithms are in play in today's life. Not really much substance or in-depth coverage. Not worth a read in my opinion. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Steve | 2/14/2014

    " Automate This provides a great overview of how computing and algorithms affect our lives. It's written at a level that's accessible to the non-technical person, so there are some subtle points that aren't quite right, but it's accurate enough that I would refer a non-technical family member to this book to better understand what back-end programming is about. For the non-technical, it's a good discussion of the role of non-UI computer programming in our lives. For the technical, it provides historical context for some fairly recent developments in automation. Written in an easy to read style with a mix of stories and facts (and lots of references and citations for the curious) Automate This is a great survey of the values and risks of automation in domains ranging from financial services to music. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by Go.gentle | 2/4/2014

    " I liked the stories of people who had developed various algorithms, but overall I thought the book didn't hold together well and was a little too impressed with itself. "

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