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How Algorithms help us make decisions?

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Algorithms. It goes by the definition as a set of rules to be followed in calculation or other problem-solving operations, especially by a computer. 

Today, algorithms have started making big decisions about our lives, without us knowing it. Here are some examples.

Social media

In many ways, social media platforms are giant algorithms. They work out what you are interested in and give you more information about it. For instance, they will analyze every “like” and the content you clicked. They will also glean more data from your web-browsing habits or location data. As a result, they can predict the content you want to watch and let you keep using social media as they have already analyzed your data. 

However, these algorithms can be utterly wrong. Research has shown that they will push people towards hateful and radical content and eventually leads to the polarization of society. 

Insurance

According to Timandra Harkness, author of Big Data, “Algorithms can affect your life very much and yet you as an individual don’t necessarily get a lot of input.“

Getting a computer to do is always a logical next step.

To illustrate, innovations such as the “black box” can monitor how an individual drive. Algorithms will then use these data to help lower the cost of car insurance for careful drivers who are in the high-risk group.

Healthcare

Nowadays, technology is very advance. It can help us diagnose various conditions and even suggest treatment paths. 

There is a study in January 2020 suggested that an algorithm could perform better than human doctors in terms of identifying breast cancer from mammograms. 

Other successes of algorithms include predicting ovarian-cancer survival rates and identifying the appointments that patients most likely to miss. The technology will then help to determine the treatment choices and remind the patients about their appointment.

Nevertheless, these actions required a vast amount of patient data and may lead to a privacy issue.

Policing

Police can now use data to predict where to allocate their police resources. 

But this will lead to algorithm bias and even algorithm racism. It is like you are judging an individual based on what other people have historically done. 

Facial recognition also faced a similar problem. For example, facial-recognition cameras are more accurate at identifying white faces. This is because they have more data on white faces. 

 

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