Policy Press

The Tensions of Algorithmic Thinking

Automation, Intelligence and the Politics of Knowing

By David Beer

Published

Nov 1, 2022

Page count

200 pages

ISBN

978-1529212891

Dimensions

234 x 156 mm

Imprint

Bristol University Press

Published

Nov 1, 2022

Page count

200 pages

ISBN

978-1529212914

Dimensions

Imprint

Bristol University Press
The Tensions of Algorithmic Thinking

We are living in algorithmic times.

From machine learning and artificial intelligence to blockchain or simpler news-feed filtering, automated systems can transform the social world in ways that are just starting to be imagined.

Redefining these emergent technologies as the new systems of knowing, pioneering scholar David Beer examines the acute tensions they create and how they are changing what is known and what is knowable. Drawing on cases ranging from the art market and the smart home through to financial tech, AI patents and neural networks, he develops key concepts for understanding the framing, envisioning and implementation of algorithms.

This book will be of interest to anyone who is concerned with the rise of algorithmic thinking and the way it permeates society.

David Beer is Professor of Sociology at the University of York.

1. Introduction: Tense Thinking and the Myths of an Algorithmic New Life

2. The Pursuit of Posthuman Security

3. Overstepping and the Navigation of the Perceived Limits of Algorithmic Thinking

4. (Dreaming of) Super Cognizers and the Stretching of the Known

5. The Presences of Nonknowledge

6. Conclusion: Algorithmic Thinking and the Will to Automate