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The Everyday Life of an Algorithm
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  • Title: The Everyday Life of an Algorithm
  • Author(s) Daniel Neyland
  • Publisher: Palgrave Pivot; 1st ed. (January 3, 2019); eBook (Creative Commons Licensed)
  • License(s): CC BY 4.0
  • Hardcover/Paperback: 160 pages
  • eBook: PDF (154 pages) and ePub
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 3030005771
  • ISBN-13: 978-3030005771
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Book Description

This open access book begins with an algorithm - a set of IF...THEN rules used in the development of a new, ethical, video surveillance architecture for transport hubs. Readers are invited to follow the algorithm over three years, charting its everyday life.

Questions of ethics, transparency, accountability and market value must be grasped by the algorithm in a series of ever more demanding forms of experimentation. Here the algorithm must prove its ability to get a grip on everyday life if it is to become an ordinary feature of the settings where it is being put to work.

Through investigating the everyday life of the algorithm, the book opens a conversation with existing social science research that tends to focus on the power and opacity of algorithms. In this book we have unique access to the algorithm's design, development and testing, but can also bear witness to its fragility and dependency on others.

About the Authors
  • Daniel Neyland is Professor of Sociology at Goldsmiths, the University of London, UK. His research engages with issues of governance, accountability and ethics in forms of science, technology and organization. He has published books on privacy and surveillance, organizational ethnography, mundane governance, etc.
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