Each day, our lives are increasingly driven by the unseen force of data that is harnessed, organized and focused by complex sets of mathematical formulas known as algorithms. These Information Age tools play a huge role in everything from the safety and efficiency of our cars, to the kind of music we hear on the radio, to the split-second trading on Wall Street that drives our economy.
In his recent book, Automate This: How Algorithms Came to Rule Our World, author Christopher Steiner describes how algorithms are accomplishing tasks with unequaled speed, efficiency and insight in all sorts of fields. Yet, this increasing ability of algorithms to assimilate data can mask their cost to the human spirit, and the chaos they cause when they fail, he argues in his book.
Christopher Steiner has worked as a reporter for the Chicago Tribune and writer for Forbes magazine. His first book, $20 Per Gallon, examined how our world would look with higher and higher gas prices and was named a best book of the year by the Financial Times and Bloomberg. An engineer by training, he is also an entrepreneur and recently founded a company that uses group buying to offer inexpensive grocery deals to its customers.