Studying the appearance of algorithms in popular culture and everyday life. By PlummerFernandez
Archive Submit

Grandmas getting auto-tagged ‘Grandmaster Flash’

A tumblr is documenting a widespread problem where grandparents using Facebook often get the tag recommendation ‘Grandmaster Flash’ when they type ‘Grandma’ into a FB status. The confused elderly people often don’t know what they are doing wrong, and in most cases don’t know who Grandmaster Flash is. One grandma then messages the hip-hop icon with the FB post ‘I didn’t mean to hit the grandmaster flash whatever that is’.




____________________________________________________________________________________
Poor choice for Facebook’s ‘Related’ algo
This screenshot has been going around, it reveals how the Facebook Related-content newsfeed algorithm inappropriately correlated news of a beheading with Basement Jaxx’s ‘Where’s Your Head At’.

Poor choice for Facebook’s ‘Related’ algo

This screenshot has been going around, it reveals how the Facebook Related-content newsfeed algorithm inappropriately correlated news of a beheading with Basement Jaxx’s ‘Where’s Your Head At’.




____________________________________________________________________________________
NSA.tail.sx
An online tool to encode and decode messages into phrases entirely made up of NSA flagged keywords. Algopop translates to “Oz. fraud DynCorp 877 NAVELEXSYSSECENGCEN Elvis PKK”. Decoding it correctly returns “algopop”. I have no idea how this works so please get in touch if you do to edit this post. 

NSA.tail.sx

An online tool to encode and decode messages into phrases entirely made up of NSA flagged keywords. Algopop translates to “Oz. fraud DynCorp 877 NAVELEXSYSSECENGCEN Elvis PKK”. Decoding it correctly returns “algopop”. I have no idea how this works so please get in touch if you do to edit this post. 




____________________________________________________________________________________
A face recognition border control bot just let me back into the country.
* Edit: I challenge all #algopop followers to a border control bot selfie. 

A face recognition border control bot just let me back into the country.

* Edit: I challenge all #algopop followers to a border control bot selfie. 




____________________________________________________________________________________
"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. 



____________________________________________________________________________________
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.




____________________________________________________________________________________
"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. 



____________________________________________________________________________________

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. 




____________________________________________________________________________________

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. 




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

Bitch to Ajerk; unfortunate unamendable algorithmic account-namings. 

submitted by refsandquotes




____________________________________________________________________________________

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? 




____________________________________________________________________________________
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. 




____________________________________________________________________________________
weirdudenergy



____________________________________________________________________________________

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. 




____________________________________________________________________________________
The tumblr recommendation algorithm sends me a message. 

The tumblr recommendation algorithm sends me a message. 




____________________________________________________________________________________