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Book Review: 'Automate This,' by Christopher Steiner

A new book traces the alarming rise of the all-powerful algorithm
This is the era of the algorithm, as big data transforms industries well outside of Wall Street and Silicon Valley
This is the era of the algorithm, as big data transforms industries well outside of Wall Street and Silicon ValleyIllustration by Joe Magee

Humans appear all too adept at building machines that suck the joy out of life. Great explorers like Neil Armstrong have been replaced by rovers that can do a bit of everything, including conducting scientific experiments and snapping breathtaking photos. Cars that, while dangerous, are awfully fun to drive are being turned into autonomous contraptions. Over at Google, some engineers even had the audacity to build a computerized brain that can find cats in YouTube videos—a feat that once united humanity.