Book ID: CBB596244600

The Constitution of Algorithms: Ground-Truthing, Programming, Formulating (2021)


Jaton, Florian (Author)

MIT Press

Publication Date: 2021
Physical Details: 400
Language: English

Algorithms—often associated with the terms big data, machine learning, or artificial intelligence—underlie the technologies we use every day, and disputes over the consequences, actual or potential, of new algorithms arise regularly. In this book, Florian Jaton offers a new way to study computerized methods, providing an account of where algorithms come from and how they are constituted, investigating the practical activities by which algorithms are progressively assembled rather than what they may suggest or require once they are assembled. Drawing on a four-year ethnographic study of a computer science laboratory that specialized in digital image processing, Jaton illuminates the invisible processes that are behind the development of algorithms. Tracing what he terms a set of intertwining courses of actions sharing common finalities, he describes the practical activity of creating algorithms through the lenses of ground-truthing, programming, and formulating. He first presents the building of ground truths, referential repositories that form the material basis for algorithms. Then, after considering programming's resistance to ethnographic scrutiny, he describes programming courses of action he attended at the laboratory. Finally, he offers an account of courses of action that successfully formulated some of the relationships among the data of a ground-truth database, revealing the links between ground-truthing, programming, and formulating activities—entangled processes that lead to the shaping of algorithms. In practice, ground-truthing, programming, and formulating form a whirlwind process, an emergent and intertwined agency.

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Authors & Contributors
Stevens, Hallam
Mulhall, Douglas
Levin, Miriam R.
Williams, Rosalind H.
Donner, Martin
Dowek, Gilles
Science, Technology and Human Values
IEEE Technology and Society Magazine
History and Technology
Perspectives on Science
Social Studies of Science
Osiris: A Research Journal Devoted to the History of Science and Its Cultural Influences
MIT Press
Prometheus Books
Cambridge University Press
Docent Press
University of Chicago Press
Routledge/Taylor & Francis Group
Computer science
Computers and computing
Technology and society
Technology, general histories
Artificial intelligence
Turing, Alan Mathison
Church, Alonzo
Gödel, Kurt
Kleene, Stephen C.
Boole, George
Condorcet, Jean Antoine Nicolas Caritat, Marquis de
Time Periods
21st century
20th century, late
20th century
20th century, early
19th century
United States

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