Just as designing algorithms for computers was originally a subject that fell into the cracks between disciplines

an odd hybrid of mathematics and engineering—so, too,
designing algorithms for humans is a topic that doesn’t
have a natural disciplinary home. Today, algorithm design
draws not only on computer science, math, and
engineering but on kindred fields like statistics and
operations research. And as we consider how algorithms
designed for machines might relate to human minds, we
also need to look to cognitive science, psychology,
economics, and beyond.

territory. Brian studied computer science and philosophy
before going on to graduate work in English and a career
at the intersection of the three. Tom studied psychology
and statistics before becoming a professor at UC Berkeley,
where he spends most of his time thinking about the
relationship between human cognition and computation.
But nobody can be an expert in all of the fields that are
relevant to designing better algorithms for humans. So as
part of our quest for algorithms to live by, we talked to the
people who came up with some of the most famous
algorithms of the last fifty years. And we asked them, some
of the smartest people in the world, how their research
influenced the way they approached their own lives—from
finding their spouses to sorting their socks.
The next pages begin our journey through some of the
biggest challenges faced by computers and human minds
alike: how to manage finite space, finite time, limited
attention, unknown unknowns, incomplete information,
and an unforeseeable future; how to do so with grace and
confidence; and how to do so in a community with others
who are all simultaneously trying to do the same. We will
learn about the fundamental mathematical structure of these
challenges and about how computers are engineered
—sometimes counter to what we imagine—to make the
most of them. And we will learn about how the mind
works, about its distinct but deeply related ways of
tackling the same set of issues and coping with the same
constraints. Ultimately, what we can gain is not only a set
of concrete takeaways for the problems around us, not
only a new way to see the elegant structures behind even
the hairiest human dilemmas, not only a recognition of the
travails of humans and computers as deeply conjoined, but
something even more profound: a new vocabulary for the
world around us, and a chance to learn something truly
new about ourselves.

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ZAKARIA AL BAZZAR, 19 yo, university student. love everything about new tech, and I'm sharing it with you :)
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