This is my dumping ground for quotes and other stuff relating to the wonderful world of digital & communications.
at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), Souneil Park and his collaborators have been experimenting with aggregation algorithms that feed into a news presentation called NewsCube, which nudges users towards consuming a greater variety of perspectives. Forget leaving things to chance with serendipity — their research is working on actively biasing your exposure to news in a beneficial way
It can be easy to succumb to the fallacy that, because computer algorithms are systematic, they must somehow be more “objective.” …
Any decision process, whether human or algorithm, about what to include, exclude, or emphasize — processes of which Google News has many — has the potential to introduce bias. What’s interesting in terms of algorithms though is that the decision criteria available to the algorithm may appear innocuous while at the same time resulting in output that is perceived as biased
In its quest to get to know us, the internet is at the stage of the well-meaning auntie who buys you inappropriate presents at Christmas (it’s the algorithmic thought that counts). It kind of knows you, but doesn’t really know you.
the art of scaling is to filter contributions so each participant sees only the contributions they personally will find most valuable and stimulating; the important thing isn’t what we see, it’s what we get to ignore
Exposure to new people doesn’t automatically produce tolerance. When explorers traversed the earth looking for opportunity, they pillaged and plundered even before they began colonising. Fear ruled the seas. And let’s be honest, exposure to other people during great explorations did not magically produce tolerance. It bred anger, distrust and hatred.
Through networked technologies, the average person is exposed to more things today than ever before in history. People can get a window into the lives of others halfway around the world. Onlookers may not understand what strangers are saying nor may they be sharing that much publicly, but the internet enables more access to more people than even the greatest explorers in history ever had. But what does someone make of this opportunity? Are people really looking around to understand difference? Or are they more committed to finding similarity and avoiding people who aren’t like them?
In the digital age we filter forward instead of filtering out. As a result, all that material is still available to us and to others to filter in their own ways, and to bring forward in other contexts. That is a very significant difference. You may filter those 10 articles, but all the other ones will still show up in a search, or tomorrow you may get them in an email from a friend or Google+ recommending that particular link. Nothing is removed.
Google’s long claimed that over 200 factors are used to rank its search results. Today, Bing says it uses 1,000 signals. Expect Google’s claim to rise shortly
“Hipmunk makes intelligent decisions about which flights to show you. For example, if there’s a cheap, non-stop flight on your favorite airline, Hipmunk will hide more expensive one-stop options on other airlines.”
Once you tell Hipmunk when and where you’d like to go and on which airline, if any, you prefer to fly, the app sorts out available flights and filters them by multiple factors. You can see flights organized by price, number of stops, total duration, and departure and arrival times. Or, you can click the “agony” tab to see the creme-de-la-creme of flights — the ones that score best on all factors.
We are no longer just consumers of content, we have become curators of it too. If someone approached me even five years ago and explained that one day in the near future I would be filtering, collecting and sharing content for thousands of perfect strangers to read — and doing it for free — I would have responded with a pretty perplexed look. Yet today I can’t imagine living in a world where I don’t filter, collect and share. More important, I couldn’t conceive of a world of news and information without the aid of others helping me find the relevant links.
The number of people who go to the Times’ homepage as a percentage of total readership falls every year — because you don’t go to the Times, you go to the story, because someone Twittered it or put it on Facebook or sent it to you in email. So the audience is now being assembled not by the paper, but by other members of the audience