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Articles on Algorithm

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Seeing through walls has long been a staple of comics and science fiction. Something like it could soon be a reality. Paul Gilligan/Photodisc via Getty Images

Fast computers, 5G networks and radar that passes through walls are bringing ‘X-ray vision’ closer to reality

The murky blobs visible with today’s wall-penetrating radar could soon give way to detailed images of people and things on the other side of a wall – and even measure people’s breathing and heart rate.
Activists, influencers raise alarm after MMIWG content disappears from Instagram on Red Dress Day. (Solen Feyissa/Unsplash)

Beyond a technical bug: Biased algorithms and moderation are censoring activists on social media

Automated content moderation using algorithms are quick and cheaper. But, they’re not necessarily better than human beings. They are prone to errors and can impose bias in a systemic scale.
A simple two-dimensional grid can convey a lot of information – whether making pictures with Lite-Brite or storing data in DNA. Justin Day/Flickr

DNA ‘Lite-Brite’ is a promising way to archive data for decades or longer

DNA has been storing vast amounts of biological information for billions of years. Researchers are working to harness DNA for archiving data. A new method uses light to simplify the process.
The FTC put companies that sell AI systems on notice: Cross the line with biased products and the law is coming for you. Maciej Frolow/Stone via Getty Images

FTC warns the AI industry: Don’t discriminate, or else

The Federal Trade Commission is rattling its saber at the technology industry over growing public concern about biased AI algorithms. Can the agency back up its threats?
Finding the best tour from A through B, C and D and back to A might not be that hard, but adding a few more destinations could give you a headache. wundervisuals/E+ via Getty Images

Planning the best route with multiple destinations is hard even for supercomputers – a new approach breaks a barrier that’s stood for nearly half a century

The traveling salesperson problem is so difficult that practical solutions can never be perfect – only good enough. The challenge is coming up with the best approximations.
TV and movies are one way we understand people and places we’ve never had direct contact with – and maybe never will. iStock / Getty Images Plus

Netflix’s big bet on foreign content and international viewers could upend the global mediascape – and change how people see the world

An Italian media scholar raised on American TV assesses Netflix’s ambitious strategy to create original productions in Italy, Japan, Brazil and beyond – and distribute them globally.
Today, artificial intelligence is deeply imbedded in the systems we use to make decisions. However, the assumptions on which they’re built are often completely hidden to us. mikemacmarketing

Artificial intelligence and algorithmic irresponsibility: the devil in the machine?

While AI is intended to help us, it tempts us to abandon judgment and moral responsibility. And without a proper understanding of how it works, we cannot circumvent its negative effects.
Computer algorithms can involve complicated math, but the concept of an algorithm is simple. Hill Street Studios/DigitalVision via Getty Images

What is an algorithm? How computers know what to do with data

A close look at how you decide what clothes to put on in the morning can help you understand how computers work.

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