The case I found for Workshop 12 of this week is an article called Man vs. Algorithms posted in 2013 that relates to the topic Algorithms that we have read from Tarleton Gillespie's article.
According to Gillespie, algorithms are now a key logic governing the flows of information on which we depend, managing how information is perceived by users, the 'distribution of the sensible.' (p. 1) In this online article, the author at first discussed the important role algorithm plays nowadays in many media services such as Amazon, Netflix and Pandora, they rely on algorithms to personalize the user experience and many journalism outlets now use algorithms to recommend stories, organize the homepage and even generate original content. However, that doesn't mean real editors and curators have completely lost out. Sometimes the gorgeous messiness of flesh and blood does prevail.
This article generally talks about the human power which also plays a very important role that algorithm can't do.
For example, like the author says, "One thing they can't do is delight and surprise a listener: you want to throw a curve ball every once in a while."
Then I would like to talk about my teammate Hannah Mocol's case. The case she brought in is Pandora, a site that allows users to choose a song they like and the algorithm in it will find a song that is similar, then let the users decide if they like this option, if yes the program will throw the data into its algorithm and keep doing this the way people like.
During the workshop, Hannah says that Pandora uses 400 attributes to describe a song which shows that it uses patterns of inclusion, she quotes "The choices behind what makes it into an index in the first place, what is excluded and how data is made algorithm ready" (Gillespie 168).
After Hannah shared her case, I came up with some new ideas, I totally agree with her about how algorithm works to help people finding music, however, I still believe that this work can be better done by real people, especially people who are experts of music.
Finally by combining our cases, our group came up with the conclusion that, algorithms are efficient and helpful but they are not perfect, algorithms are created by people meaning that every algorithm will not fit with every single person. In this way, we can benefit from algorithms by saving time and human resource while we can still keep upgrading them.
Gillespie, T. (2014). The relevance of algorithms. In T. Gillespie, P.J. Boczkowski, & K.A. Foot (Eds.), Media technologies: Essays on communication, materiality, and society (pp. 167-193). Cambridge: MIT Press