Summary of How Algorithms Shape Our World

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  • Innovative
  • Concrete Examples
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Of countless algorithms influencing the world, many remain invisible. Game developer Kevin Slavin reveals evidence and examples of algorithms and explores their potential impact on humankind and even nature. His talk is fun and terrifying, conversational and witty. getAbstract recommends this lecture to anyone who is skeptical about the power humans have surrendered to factors beyond their control.

About the Speaker

Kevin Slavin co-founded Area/Code, a game development company that creates popular games like Drop 7.



The role of math is changing. Math derives from the world but also can influence it – or more precisely, algorithms can. Simply put, algorithms are “the math that computers use to decide stuff,” and through continual repetitions, these mathematical formulas become solid and real.

Consider the unlikely connection between spy technology and algorithmic trading on Wall Street: Both involve physicists and the notion of a black box. During the Cold War, US stealth technology made large objects, such as aircraft, appear on radar as a group of tiny blips resembling...

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