A letter to an algorithm by “reluctantly yours”

Feb 04, 2019, 6:36 AM EST
(Source: Mike MacKenzie/flickr)
(Source: Mike MacKenzie/flickr)

Stephane Lavoie, in an introspective post for Medium, pens down a letter to “Dear Algorithm,” reminding us, the enslaved humans, of how technology is breathing down our necks, round the clock, encroaching our privacy, recording every detail of our routines and virtually reducing us to a bundle of data and nothing more.

Lavoie sees this relationship with his Amazon Echo as a bittersweet arrangement, where he enjoys the occasional relief of auto-compiled Spotify playlists, but rues the fact that he is no longer the sole master of his decisions.

The “opaque surveillance” by algorithms doesn’t bother Lavoie, for it gives a sense of company and care, but their infiltration into his tastes, values, relationships and their overarching interference towards molding his views in the name of enhancing “user experience” is unsettling, if not creepy.

Hannah Fry, a British mathematician, lecturer, broadcaster, author and public speaker, elucidates the same theme in her book, entitled “Hello World: How to be Human in the Age of the Machine,” in which she makes a compelling case for wide deployment of algorithms in our daily lives but in a subservient relationship with humans, notes Arab News.