Algorithms: Dead-End for Humanity?

Algorithms: Demons of the 21st century! Their fate is similar to the people in Middle Ages, who were burned at stake with accusations of witchcraft. Yet, algorithms are still waiting for their own Renaissance to happen. This time, it would take more than a handful of bright individuals: The society, who are the mass consumers of technology, needs to push the frontiers of corrupted policy-makers who enslave algorithms by providing provocative training sets to serve for their political deeds.

According to Introna and Wood, biometrics are unique. But, the cold hard truth is that they are actually replicable: Replicable in terms of their representations in computers. Note that this has nothing to do with the human flesh, the body itself. In favor of a dualist approach; a clear distinction between a real human and the representation of a human with biometrics also helps us countermeasure surveillance by providing us with loopholes. Jan Krissler, whose alias is “Starbug”, demonstrates simple and elegant ways of breaching FRSs and Touch IDs in a Chaos Computer Club Congress in 2014:

Literal degradation of the human kind starts at the moment that she is degraded into a sequence of 0’s and 1’s. Criticizing algorithms and their implications should not cover the fact that we should also question why we are readily convinced that we need algorithms for such tasks at the first place. We could start by putting a “Bad Guy” instead of the “Human Operator” at Figure 1, pp.184 and re-interpret the figure again. We can also address the misdirection by recognizing of algorithms that are being used to create pieces of art. Subcultures of computer art are using algorithms to bend bit sequences and use it as a unique way of story-telling:

Developers of algorithms, who are romantically attached to their creation which requires an eloquent use of mathematics and science, are in the state of alienation from their intellectual labor. Free software movement may provide them the empowerment, by letting developers observing the impact of their labor by reaching out and getting direct feedback from masses. Bourgeoisie would attempt to train algorithms to earn a profit and redesign society as they used to do via mass media. But, as long as there is humanity, there will be hope.

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