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Algorithms: the managers of our digital lives

Paris

ALGORITHMS are a crucial cog in the mechanics of our digital world, but also a nosy minder of our personal lives and a subtle, even insidious influence on our behaviour.

They have also come to symbolise the risks of a computerised world conditioned by commercial factors.

Long before they were associated with Google searches, Facebook pages and Amazon suggestions, algorithms were the brainchild of a Persian scientist.

The term is a combination of mediaeval Latin and the name of a ninth century mathematician and astronomer, Al-Khwarizmi, considered the father of algebra.

A bit like a kitchen recipe, an algorithm is a series of instructions that allows you to obtain a desired result, according...

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