Algorithms to Live by: The Computer Science of Human Decisions

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HarperCollins Publishers, 2016 - Comptuter algorithms - 351 pages
12 Reviews
"An exploration of how insights from computer algorithms can be applied to our everyday lives, helping to solve common decision-making problems and illuminate the workings of the human mind. All our lives are constrained by limited space and time, limits that give rise to a particular set of problems. What should we do, or leave undone, in a day or a lifetime? How much messiness should we accept? What balance of new activities and familiar favorites is the most fulfilling? These may seem like uniquely human quandaries, but they are not: computers, too, face the same constraints, so computer scientists have been grappling with their version of such issues for decades. And the solutions they've found have much to teach us. In this interdisciplinary work, author Brian Christian and cognitive scientist Tom Griffiths show how the algorithms used by computers can also untangle very human questions. They explain how to have better hunches and when to leave things to chance, how to deal with overwhelming choices and how best to connect with others. From finding a spouse to finding a parking spot, from organizing one's inbox to understanding the workings of memory, Algorithms to Live By transforms the wisdom of computer science into strategies for human living"--From dust jacket.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - reenum - LibraryThing

This book is a very good introduction to several mathematical concepts that many people have heard of, but don't know much about. Brian Christian also does something very clever: he makes these ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - datrappert - LibraryThing

Lots of interesting stuff in this engaging look at how we might apply computer algorithms to daily life. Unfortunately, many of the algorithms are for solving problems that are much simplified ... Read full review

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About the author (2016)

Brian Christian is the bestselling author of The Most Human Human, which was named a Wall Street Journal bestseller and a New Yorker favorite book of 2011. His writing has appeared in Wired, The Atlantic, The Wall Street Journal , and The Paris Review, among others. Brian has been a featured guest on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, The Charlie Rose Show, NPR's Radiolab, and the BBC, and has lectured at Google, Microsoft, SETI, the Santa Fe Institute, the Royal Institution of Great Britain, and the London School of Economics.

Tom Griffiths s an Associate Professor of Psychology and Cognitive Science and Director of the Institute of Cognitive and Brain Sciences at the University of California, Berkeley. He has published over 150 scientific papers on a wide range of topics, including machine learning and cultural evolution in addition to cognitive psychology, and he has received numerous early career awards, including those from the National Science Foundation, the Sloan Foundation, and the American Psychological Association.

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