Todays world is witnessing the dominance of algorithm more than ever. These mathematical calculations are excessively used to generate patterns in order to anticipate, change and govern human. Since they are not biased and emotional, they can effectively used to predict the future trends by using past indicators. However, these algorithms can be easily programmed to prejudice the outcome.
These algorithms are increasingly used by the government as well as corporate decision making. Therefore, a high amount of risk is involve and they can be used unfairly and illegally. Google uses such algorithms to provide search and rank websites. You never know the sites you visit are always ranked fairly or not. In addition, Self-driving cars use decision-making algorithms for obtaining route information, controlling speed, and potentially even who to run over in case of emergency.
Another use of these algorithms is in Financial corporations. The predict market fluctuations and make decisions in the millisecond, much faster than human. They are also used to determine whether you are ok to give loan, credit card or insurance. Also, employers are also using mathematics to decide whether they should give you a job or not. The assess their worker’s productivity and performance. Many Governments are also taking predictive policing algorithms to identify potential risks and make policies accordingly.
Since there is a lot of influence of these secret algorithms in our daily life. Politicians, governments, and corporations are influencing our decisions, thinking, and behaviors using algorithms that are commercially sensitive and potentially bias. Thanks to Edward Snowden, now we know that National Security Agency (NSA) was watching us all the time using algorithms and social media. Leaked documents have disclosed that variety of surveillance programs were operated jointly by Five Eyes, an intelligence alliance comprised of the U.S., U. K., Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.
Developed countries are already trying to regulate the use of such algorithms. However, developing countries will always be under treat since they have other sad issues to deal with first such as health, security, law and order. The use of hidden algorithm will be increasing in future as technology grows. Therefore to avoid negative influence of hidden algorithms in our lives, we must protect our personal data. Also increasing knowledge and awareness will also help us to avoid the impact of such automated decisions on our lives.