Would you let an algorithm determine your fate? Hannah Fry lifts the lid on the world of algorithms, examining how they impact our future and whether they really are an improvement on the humans they replace.
You are accused of a crime. Who would you rather determined your fate - a human or an algorithm?
An algorithm is more consistent and less prone to error of judgement. Yet a human can look you in the eye before passing sentence.
You need a liver transplant to save your life. Who would you want in charge of organ allocation?
An algorithm can match organ donors with patients, potentially saving many more lives. But it may send you to the back of the queue.
You're buying a (driverless) car. One vehicle is programmed to save as many lives as possible in a collision. Another promises to prioritize the lives of its passengers. Which do you choose?
Welcome to the age of the algorithm, the story of a not-too-distant future where machines rule supreme, making important decisions - in healthcare, transport, finance, security, what we watch, where we go even who we send to prison. So how much should we rely on them? What kind of future do we want?
Hannah Fry takes us on a tour of the good, the bad and the downright ugly of the algorithms that surround us. In Hello World she lifts the lid on their inner workings, demonstrates their power, exposes their limitations, and examines whether they really are an improvement on the humans they are replacing.
About the Author
Hannah Fry is an Associate Professor in the mathematics of cities from University College London. In her day job she uses mathematical models to study patterns in human behaviour, and has worked with governments, police forces, health analysts and supermarkets. Her TED talks have amassed millions of views and she has fronted television documentaries for the BBC and PBS; she also hosts the long-running science podcast, ‘The Curious Cases of Rutherford & Fry’ with the BBC.
"A stylish, thoughtful, and scrupulously fair-minded account of what the software that increasingly governs our lives can and cannot do ... A beautifully accessible guide that leaps lightly from one story to the next without sparing the reader hard questions... deserves a place in the bestseller charts." -- Oliver Moody * The Times *
"With refreshing simplicity, Fry explains what AI, machine learning and complicated algorithms really mean, providing some succinct explanations of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, driverless cars and many other unnerving modern phenomena...This book illustrates why good science writers are essential." -- Katy Guest * Guardian *
"Brilliantly clear...Fry succinctly outlines the ethical issues that beset AI" -- James McConnaiche * Sunday Times *
"Hello World is a gem of accessible science writing. With eloquence and charm, Hannah Fry outlines the maths of computer algorithms and explains how they are transforming fields such as health, justice, transport and the arts. She is a wise guide to the benefits - and horrors of our increasingly data-driven world." -- Alex Bellos, author of Alex's Adventures in Numberland
"Expertly told, wise and with a lightness of touch, Hannah Fry's brilliant exploration of how we live our lives in the age of AI will prompt arguments in pubs and over dinner tables for years to come." -- Adam Rutherford