January 27 2020
Outnumbered: From Facebook and Google to Fake News and Filter-bubbles - The Algorithms That Control Our Lives (featuring Cambridge Analytica) by David Sumpter Outnumbered is a journey to the dark side of mathematics, from how it dictates our social media activities to our travel routes. Algorithms are running our society, and as Facebook's Cambridge Analytica scandal has revealed, we don't even realize how our data has been used against us. David Sumpter investigates whether mathematics is crossing dangerous lines when it comes to what we can make decisions about. Our increasing reliance on technology and the internet has opened a window for mathematicians and data researchers to gaze through into our lives. Using the data they are constantly collecting about where we travel, where we shop, what we buy, and what interests us, they can begin to predict our daily habits, and increasingly we are relinquishing our decision-making to algorithms. Are we giving this up too easily? Without understanding what mathematics can and can't do it is impossible to get a handle on how it is changing our lives. In this book, David Sumpter takes an algorithm-strewn journey to the dark side of mathematics. He investigates the equations that analyze us, influence us and will (maybe) become like us, answering questions like: Who are Cambridge Analytica, and what are they doing with our data? How does Facebook build a 100-dimensional picture of your personality? Are Google algorithms racist and sexist? Why do election predictions fail so drastically? Are algorithms that are designed to find criminals making terrible mistakes? What does the future hold as we relinquish our decision-making to machines? Featuring interviews with those working at the cutting edge of algorithm, Outnumbered explains how mathematics and statistics work in the real world, and what we should and shouldn't worry about.
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