Studying the appearance of algorithms in popular culture and everyday life. By PlummerFernandez
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"The average story about the Ice Bucket Challenge was much more heavily promoted by Facebook’s algorithms (a factor of 8x) than the average story about Ferguson."

Self segregation on social-networks and the implications for the ferguson MO story - Ethan Zuckerman. 



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Google Translate Latin Mystery Part 2

One of our algopop followers @miwrighting offers a very reasonable explanation for the Google Translate Lorem Ipsum messages:

The joys of statistical translation. Lorem Ipsum and other Latinish gibberish is used as boilerplate by news sources when they want to test a new page design or tweak an existing layout a bit. That means there are a lot of Lorem Ipsums on news sites, a lot of them forgotten and left with links in place to real pages. When you put this garbage Latinish into Google Translate it hunts those pages down and checks those links to other pages for ‘statistical significance’. Since there isn’t any the algorithm matches the Latinish to words and phrases commonly found in the news - China, the US, main focus, Europe, business, company, etc - and spits out near-sentences. Human pattern-seeking does the rest.




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"Deciding how much control to give your algorithm is where a lot of the finesse comes in."

Adam Ferriss, who I’m sure many of you follow on tumblr, has been interviewed by Its Nice That. 



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Secret Messaging service found in Google Translate

Security researchers have discovered that strange variations of latin words from the Cicero ‘Lorem Ipsum’ text translate into totally unexpected sentences using Google Translate. Google have now hard-coded the algorithm NOT to translate the words Lorem and Ipsum, but from my tests you can still create secret messages using other Latin words. Suspiciously a lot of the variations produce sentences with the words - China, Russia, Network, NATO, and so on. Since Google translation algorithms learn autonomously through Machine Learning the researchers believe that someone has gamed the system to make it learn this instead. I guess they may have done this by surreptitiously feeding Google with latin/secret language texts. 




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MuseumBot and AppreciationBot

MuseumBot tweets images from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, AppreciationBot was designed to be an enthusiastic critic of everything MuseumBot shares. The endless automated dialogue between the two has some fascinating interactions and is greater than the sum of its parts so I created this list to follow it. The bots are by Darius Kazemi and Michael Cook respectively. 




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Bitch to Ajerk; unfortunate unamendable algorithmic account-namings. 
submitted by refsandquotes

Bitch to Ajerk; unfortunate unamendable algorithmic account-namings. 

submitted by refsandquotes




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Humans Need Not Apply by CGP Grey

A short documentary about the automation of jobs and impending human redundancy. The film covers both mechanical labour superseded by robots and professional jobs such as doctors superseded by software bots. The filmmakers offer a provoking comparison to the redundancy of horses. I find this slightly flawed as possibly humans will need to continue to play a role in the economy as consumers, but complicated if their income is perhaps zero? The filmmakers also ignore that both Baxter and Watson have been designed to work alongside humans, so the future workforce could potentially be hybrid rather than one or the other (but in the supermarket checkout scenario it is clear this is not a 50/50 job-share). In any case the film’s final message is very well said: what to do with all the humans who are simply unemployable by no fault of their own? 




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Siri, Accessory to Murder via Independent 
So Siri assists a murderer:

US police say a Florida man accused of killing his roommate asked Apple’s digital assistant Siri for advice on hiding the body the day the man went missing. According to evidence reproduced from the trial by local news stations, Siri responded “What kind of place are you looking for?” before offering four options: “Swamps, reservoirs, metal foundries, dumps”.

But the iPhone data (including flashlight records!) gets him prosecuted:

Police say that Bravo was using the phone’s flashlight function to hide the body in the woods, and say that location data gathered from the smartphone doesn’t fit with Bravo’s account of his movements that evening. 

Siri, Accessory to Murder via Independent 

So Siri assists a murderer:

US police say a Florida man accused of killing his roommate asked Apple’s digital assistant Siri for advice on hiding the body the day the man went missing. According to evidence reproduced from the trial by local news stations, Siri responded “What kind of place are you looking for?” before offering four options: “Swamps, reservoirs, metal foundries, dumps”.

But the iPhone data (including flashlight records!) gets him prosecuted:

Police say that Bravo was using the phone’s flashlight function to hide the body in the woods, and say that location data gathered from the smartphone doesn’t fit with Bravo’s account of his movements that evening. 




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weirdudenergy



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Non-Stop Scroll Shop by Ghost Crab Workshop

An infinite online shop generated using Flickr, Amazon and Wordnik APIs. Some rather contentious items get generated such as ‘Oderless Zimbanweans' and 'Afghans, 13 big ones’, but there are plenty of funny and nonsensical ones too. 




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The tumblr recommendation algorithm sends me a message. 

The tumblr recommendation algorithm sends me a message. 




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noworkflow by Sam Newell

Noworkflow is a reaction to athletic aesthetics where a bot constantly updates this Tumblr account with randomly generated Photoshop images.

noworkflow by Sam Newell

Noworkflow is a reaction to athletic aesthetics where a bot constantly updates this Tumblr account with randomly generated Photoshop images.




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notational:

anniewerner:

Cory Arcangel’s new book is just tweets of people saying they’re working on their novel. This is simultaneously amazing and also forming a deep pit of despair in my gut.

A growing genre of API/search/program/collate as conceptual poetry (or literature).

Nice shift from twitter bot to printed publication. James Bridle also published a book of all his personal tweets, but Cory’s concept is stronger for making the conceptual marriage of tweets about wanting to complete a book, and completing a book with them. 

notational:

anniewerner:

Cory Arcangel’s new book is just tweets of people saying they’re working on their novel. This is simultaneously amazing and also forming a deep pit of despair in my gut.

A growing genre of API/search/program/collate as conceptual poetry (or literature).

Nice shift from twitter bot to printed publication. James Bridle also published a book of all his personal tweets, but Cory’s concept is stronger for making the conceptual marriage of tweets about wanting to complete a book, and completing a book with them. 

thefader.com



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Google Image Quiz (2014) by Silvio Lorusso
An online game/ search engine that reverses the role of the Google image search engine, it provides an image and you guess what query returned that image. Lorusso also manages the Post-Digital Publishing Archive (p-dpa.net, p-dpa.tumblr.com)

Google Image Quiz (2014) by Silvio Lorusso

An online game/ search engine that reverses the role of the Google image search engine, it provides an image and you guess what query returned that image. Lorusso also manages the Post-Digital Publishing Archive (p-dpa.net, p-dpa.tumblr.com)




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Reverse OCR, Darius Kazemi (2014) via p-dpa

I am a bot that grabs a random word and draws semi-random lines until the OCRad.js library recognizes it as the word.

The bot publishes to tumblr, twitter and the source code is available on github. Darius informs me that the bot takes about 64,000 attempts to achieve a word, to do this  It picks “dog” then draws random lines until “d” is detected, then draws random lines until “o” is detected…




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