Apr 282012
 

Are algorithms the future of news writing? Wired had an interesting article on that topic last week, focusing on a company called Narrative Science that is already doing it. Here’s the excerpt Wired provides from a Narrative Science story: Friona fell 10-8 to Boys Ranch in five innings on Monday at Friona despite racking up

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Nov 192011
 
Algorithms and the future of divorce

In Chapter 21 of Thinking, Fast and Slow Dan Kahneman discusses the frequent superiority of algorithms over intuition. He documents a wide range of studies showing that algorithms tend to beat expert intuition in areas such as medicine, business, career satisfaction and more. In general, the value of algorithms tends to be in “low-validity environments”

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Jun 042011
 
Initial thoughts on Eli Pariser

Eli Pariser, president of the board at MoveOn.org, has a new book out called The Filter Bubble, and based on his recent NYT op-ed and some interviews he’s done I’m extremely excited to read it. Pariser hits on one of my pet issues: the danger of Facebook, Google, etc. personalizing our news feeds in a way that

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May 072011
 

I’ve written about the potential dangers of Google and Facebook using algorithms to recommend news, with the basic fear being that they’ll recommend stories that confirm my biases rather than “feed me my vegetables.” But Nieman Lab has an interview with the founder of Google News who has quite a different take on what he’s

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Apr 232011
 
Google won't feed me my vegetables

I had a post months back called “Who will feed me my vegetables?” about the dangers of social news feeds. Here was the gist: Consider politics.  Facebook knows I self-designate as “liberal”.  They know I’m a “fan” of Barack Obama and the Times’ Nick Kristof.  They can see I’m more likely to “like” stories from

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Apr 142011
 
Netflix vs. the market

I wrote a lengthy post last year on how the networked information economy offered potential challenges to the market as the primary form of economic organization. In that post I noted the market’s efficiency at aggregating information through individual preferences and used Netflix of an example of how networks are making information aggregation easier in

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