During this event, Matthew Plummer-Fernandez and Filip Visnjic took the audience on an exploration of the contemporary culture of algorithms, and showed how so-called 'learning algorithms' play a growing role in our life.
Algorithms are the instructions that enable computers to accomplish their tasks. To a certain extent, learning algorithms are able to set their own rules. They can make predictions about the future, based on a mathematical model of the environment in which they are used, such as traffic. They are then able to continue to refine the model based on observations. In so doing, they can make increasingly accurate predictions.
Learning algorithms are used in more and more areas. They learn to predict heart problems based on medical data. They play an important role in stock trading. They are widely used to optimise the placement of online advertisements, and they are also used in agriculture, for example to increase the yields.
- Filip Visnjic is editor of CreativeApplications.net, a leading blog on digital art and culture, and editor of HOLO, a magazine about art, science and technology.
Matthew Plummer-Fernandez (Goldsmiths, University of London) is currently doing a PhD with a thesis on the socio-cultural role of algorithms. He investigates how algorithms, autonomous bots and automation increasingly permeate our lives. The British-Columbian artist received an Award of Distinction at the Prix Ars Electronica in 2014. More info on two blogs run by Plummer Fernandez: #agopop and Novice Art Blogger
This programme was organised in collaboration with FIBER festival