It’s high time the government did something about this…

My friend Jon Crowcroft pointed out that a UK government website says their watchdog is going to take a closer look at algorithms, how websites and apps use them, and how they impact daily life.

The underlying motivation is no doubt a fine one, but it’s unfortunate reporting: the investigation of ‘algorithms’ reminds me a bit of those people who are suspicious of ‘chemicals’.

‘Algorithm’, my OED tells me, comes from the Middle English ‘algorism’, which in turn is named after the 8th/9th-century Arabic mathematician Muhammad ibn Musa al-Khwarizmi — what a cool name! — who, amongst other achievements, invented algebra.

So it’s high time the government got around to investigating these algorithm things.

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2 Comments

I thought the Algorithm was invented by Al Gore, immediately after he was done inventing the Internet!!

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