Musings of a Computer Scientist

May 23, 2011

When the Internet thinks for you!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Azer Bestavros @ 12:32 pm

Here is an interesting Op-Ed in today’s NYT, which touches on the point I made in my earlier post entitled “Ignorance is Bliss”.

I have been harping on this for a while, but Eli Pariser (of puts it very eloquently: “There is a new group of gatekeepers in town, and this time, they’re not people, they’re code.”

In Jon Crowcroft’s talk at BU earlier this month, I hinted to this issue — getting information through a social network reduces entropy — and alluded to the need for better “personalization” technology and algorithmics. Pariser’s point is that we should not trust editorial responsibility (the control of information flow) to code. If we do, then the Internet would have turned things around 360 degrees — by allowing us to bypass “an elite class of editors”, only to let code decide what people would see and hear about the world.

Related to (and influencing my thinking about) the above is the long-held position that “Code is Law” by Lawrence Lessig.

Computer Science is quickly becoming a social science!

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