Christopher Steiner: Automate This: How Algorithms Came to Rule Our World (2012)

29 March 2013, dusan

Long gone are the days of jocks and preppies running the trading desks of Wall Street. For more than a decade, a group of math and technology geeks known as the “quants” have completely transformed the financial markets.

Christopher Steiner traces the stories if these quants and their complete makeover of Wall Street. As more an more colleges became hotbeds of quant knowledge, more engineers and math majors infiltrated the job market. And not just on Wall Street but in countless ither fields.

Steiner explores how algorithms and the science behind them are starting to permeate our daily lives, destroying professions and creating new ones. Sooner than we think our music, our food, our medicine, our blind dates, and more will be governed by procedural equations rather than human intuition.

In many cases these innovations are beneficial. But there will inevitably be troubling side effects, like the Flash Crash of May 2010. Steiner explores what will happen, both good and bad, when algorithims more fully control hospitals, transportation and many other fields.

Publisher Portfolio / Penguin Group US, 2012
ISBN 1101572159, 9781101572153
256 pages

review (Evgeny Morozov, The Wall Street Journal)
review (Wendy M Grossman, ZDNet)

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