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Communications of the ACM

ACM Opinion

The Age of Algorithmic Anxiety

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Illustration of algorithm suggesting various products to buy.

It can feel as though every app is trying to guess what you want before your brain has time to come up with its own answer.

Credit: Víctor Arce

Social networks have always purported to show us things that we like—things that we might have organically gravitated to ourselves. Why, then, can it feel as though the entire ecosystem of content that we interact with online has been engineered to influence us in ways that we cannot quite parse, and that have only a distant relationship to our own authentic preferences?

We are constantly negotiating with the pesky figure of the algorithm, unsure how we would have behaved if we had been left to our own devices.

From The New Yorker
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