Algorithms

Critical Algorithm Studies: a Reading List by Tarleton Gillespie and Nick Seaver from Social Media Collective at Microsoft Research

Overviews

Technical and Philosophical Precursors / emic “what are algorithms?” essays

Kowalski, Robert. 1979. “Algorithm = Logic + Control.” Communications of the ACM 22(7): 424-436. http://www.doc.ic.ac.uk/~rak/papers/algorithm%20=%20logic%20+%20control.pdf

Hooker, J.N. 1994. “Needed: An Empirical Science of Algorithms.” Operations Research 42(2): 201-212. http://pubsonline.informs.org/doi/pdf/10.1287/opre.42.2.201

Andreas Blass and Yuri Gurevich (2003), Algorithms: A Quest for Absolute Definitions, Bulletin of European Association for Theoretical Computer Science 81, 2003. http://research.microsoft.com/~gurevich/Opera/164.pdf

Yuri Gurevich, Sequential Abstract State Machines Capture Sequential Algorithms, ACM Transactions on Computational Logic, Vol 1, no 1 (July 2000), pages 77–111. http://research.microsoft.com/~gurevich/Opera/141.pdf

Gurevich, Yuri. 2011. “What is an Algorithm?” Technical Report MSR-TR-2011-116, Microsoft Research. http://research.microsoft.com/pubs/155608/209-3.pdf

Gurevich, Yuri. 2014. “What is an Algorithm? (revised)” In Church’s Thesis: Logic, Mind and Nature (eds. A. Olszewski et al.) Copernicus Center Press. http://research.microsoft.com/en-us/um/people/gurevich/Opera/209a.pdf

Moschovakis, Yiannis N. 2001. “What is an algorithm?” In Mathematics Unlimited — 2001 and beyond. Edited by B. Engquist and W. Schmid. Springer: 919-936. http://www.math.ucla.edu/~ynm/papers/eng.pdf

Sadowski, J. (2015). “From Mega-Machines to Mega-Algorithms.” The New Inquiry, April 28: http://thenewinquiry.com/essays/from-mega-machines-to-mega-algorithms/

Field surveys / Keywords / Initial Provocations

Seaver, Nick. 2013. “Knowing Algorithms.” In Media in Transition 8. Cambridge, MA. http://nickseaver.net/s/seaverMiT8.pdf

Gillespie, Tarleton. 2014. “The Relevance of Algorithms.” In Media Technologies: Essays on Communication, Materiality, and Society, edited by Tarleton Gillespie, Pablo Boczkowski, and Kirsten Foot, 167-194. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. http://culturedigitally.org/2012/11/the-relevance-of-algorithms/ http://www.tarletongillespie.org/essays/Gillespie%20-%20The%20Relevance%20of%20Algorithms.pdf

Mahnke, Martina and Emma Uprichard. 2014 “Algorithming the Algorithm.” In Society of the Query Reader: Reflections on Web Search. René König and Miriam Rasch, eds. Amsterdam: Institute of Network Cultures. http://networkcultures.org/query/wp-content/uploads/sites/4/2014/06/19.Mahnke_Uprichard.pdf

Striphas, Ted. 2015. “Algorithmic Culture.” European Journal of Cultural Studies 18(4-5): 395-412. http://ecs.sagepub.com/content/18/4-5/395.abstract

Gillespie, Tarleton. forthcoming. “Algorithm.” In Digital Keywords, edited by Ben Peters. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press. http://culturedigitally.org/2014/06/algorithm-draft-digitalkeyword/

Lists of Algorithm Studies Resources

“Governing Algorithms” (NYU) reading list: http://governingalgorithms.org/resources/reading-list/

“Algorithm Studies” (UCHRI) literature survey: http://algorithmicstudies.uchri.org/literature-survey

The specific implications of algorithms and the choices they make

(politics of artifacts / values in design approach)

Algorithms have embedded values / biases and lead to personalization / social sorting / discrimination

(concerned about: designer intent vs unaware, how did it get there, where are the effects felt, are they visible to the affected)

Introna, Lucas D., and Helen Nissenbaum. 2000. “Shaping the Web: Why the Politics of Search Engines Matters.” The Information Society 16(3): 169-185. http://www.nyu.edu/projects/nissenbaum/papers/ShapingTheWeb.pdf

Introna, Lucas D., and David Wood. 2002. ‘‘Picturing Algorithmic Surveillance: The Politics of Facial Recognition Systems.’’ Surveillance & Society 2 (2/3): 177-98 http://surveillance-and-society.org/articles2(2)/algorithmic.pdf

Graham, Stephen D. N. 2005. ‘‘Software-sorted Geographies.’’ Progress in Human Geography 29 (5): 562-580. http://www.dourish.com/classes/readings/Graham-SoftwareSortedGeographies-PHG.pdf

Granka, Laura A. 2010. “The Politics of Search: A Decade Retrospective.” The Information Society 26 (5): 364-74. http://www.australianscience.com.au/research/google/36914.pdf

Ananny, Mike. 2011. “The Curious Connection Between Apps for Gay Men and Sex Offenders.” The Atlantic. April 14. http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2011/04/the-curious-connection-between-apps-for-gay-men-and-sex-offenders/237340/

Anderson, Chris W. 2011. “Deliberative, Agonistic, and Algorithmic Audiences: Journalism’s Vision of Its Public in an Age of Audience Transparency.” International Journal of Communication 5: 19. http://ijoc.org/index.php/ijoc/article/view/884/537

Noble, Safiya. 2012. “Missed Connections: What Search Engines Say about Women. Bitch magazine, 12(4): 37-41. https://safiyaunoble.files.wordpress.com/2012/03/54_search_engines.pdf

Lenglet, Marc. 2013. “Algorithms and the Manufacture of Financial Reality”. In Harvey, P., Casella, E., Evans, G., Knox, H., McLean, C., Silva, E., Thoburn, N. and Woodward, K. (eds), Objects and Materials. A Routledge Companion. London, Routledge, 312-322. http://www.academia.edu/5575392/Algorithms_and_the_Manufacture_of_Financial_Reality

McKelvey, Fenwick. 2014. “Algorithmic Media Need Democratic Methods: Why Publics Matter.” Canadian Journal of Communication 39(4): 597+. http://www.fenwickmckelvey.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/2746-9231-1-PB.pdf

Benthall, Sebastian. 2015.“Designing Networked Publics for Communicative Action.” Interface 1(1): 1-30. http://commons.pacificu.edu/interface/vol1/iss1/3/

Tufekci, Zeynep. 2015. “Algorithmic Harms beyond Facebook and Google: Emergent Challenges of Computational Agency” Colorado Technology Law Journal. v13 n2 http://ctlj.colorado.edu/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/Tufekci-final.pdf

Bolin, Göran & Jonas Andersson Schwarz 2015. ‘Heuristics of the Algorithm. Big Data, User Interpretation and Translation Strategies’, Big Data & Society, July-Dec 2015: 1-12. http://bds.sagepub.com/content/2/2/2053951715608406

With algorithms, come rationalization / automation / quantification, and the erasure of human judgment / complexity / context

Pasquinelli, Matteo. 2009. “Google’s PageRank algorithm: a diagram of cognitive capitalism and the rentier of the common intellect” in Deep Search: The Politics of Search beyond Google. London: Transaction Publishers. http://matteopasquinelli.com/google-pagerank-algorithm/

Wilf, Eitan. 2013. “Toward an Anthropology of Computer-Mediated, Algorithmic Forms of Sociality.” Current Anthropology 54(6): 716-739. http://pluto.mscc.huji.ac.il/~ewilf/Wilf%20-%20Current%20Anthropology.pdf

Kockelman, Paul. 2013. “The anthropology of an equation. Sieves, spam filters, agentive algorithms, and ontologies of transformation.” Hau 3(3). http://www.haujournal.org/index.php/hau/article/view/hau3.3.003

Grosser, Benjamin. 2014. “What Do Metrics Want? How Quantification Prescribes Social Interaction on Facebook.” Computational Culture. http://computationalculture.net/article/what-do-metrics-want

Napoli, Philip M. 2014. “On Automation in Media Industries: Integrating Algorithmic Media Production into Media Industries Scholarship.” Media Industries 1(1). http://www.mediaindustriesjournal.org/index.php/mij/article/view/14

Kockelman, Paul. 2014. “Linguistic anthropology in the age of language automata.” The Cambridge Handbook of Linguistic Anthropology. Cambridge University Press, 708-733. http://www.envorganism.org/Article%20PDFs/Chapter%2025,%20CHLA.pdf

McQuillan, Daniel. 2015. “Algorithmic States of Exception.” European Journal of Cultural Studies 18(4/5). http://research.gold.ac.uk/11079/

Pasquale, Frank. 2015. “The Algorithmic Self.” 17(1) The Hedgehog Review. http://www.iasc-culture.org/THR/THR_article_2015_Spring_Pasquale.php

Questions of accountability and policy responses around algorithms

McKelvey, Fenwick. 2010. “Ends and Ways: The Algorithmic Politics of Network Neutrality.” Global Media Journal: Canadian Edition 3(1): 51-73. http://www.gmj.uottawa.ca/1001/v3i1_mckelvey.pdf

Crawford, Kate, and Jason Schultz. 2014. “Big Data and Due Process: Toward a Framework to Redress Predictive Privacy Harms.” Boston College Law Review, 55(1): 93+. http://lawdigitalcommons.bc.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=3351&context=bclr

Diakopoulos, Nicholas. 2013. ‘‘Algorithmic Accountability Reporting: On the Investigation of Black Boxes.’’ A Tow/Knight Brief. New York: Columbia Journalism School, Tow Center for Digital Journalism. http://www.nickdiakopoulos.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/Algorithmic-Accountability-Reporting_final.pdf

O’Reilly, Tim. 2013. ‘‘Open Data and Algorithmic Regulation.’’ In Beyond Transparency: Open Data and the Future of Civic Innovation, edited by Brett Goldstein, 289-300. San Francisco, CA: Code for America Press. http://beyondtransparency.org/chapters/part-5/open-data-and-algorithmic-regulation/

Benjamin, S.M. (2013). “Algorithms and Speech.” University of Pennsylvania Law Review 161(6): 1445-1494. http://scholarship.law.duke.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=5758&context=faculty_scholarship

boyd, danah, Karen Levy, and Alice Marwick. 2014. “The Networked Nature of Algorithmic Discrimination.” Open Technology Institute. http://www.danah.org/papers/2014/DataDiscrimination.pdf

Data & Society Research Institute. 2014 “Workshop Primer: Algorithmic Accountability” http://www.datasociety.net/pubs/2014-0317/AlgorithmicAccountabilityPrimer.pdf

Schuppli, Susan. 2014. “Deadly Algorithms: Can legal codes hold software accountable for code that kills?” Radical Philosophy 187: 1-8. https://www.academia.edu/8180918/Deadly_Algorithms_Can_legal_codes_hold_software_accountable_for_code_that_kills

Diakopoulos, Nicholas. 2015. ‘‘Algorithmic Accountability.’’ Digital Journalism 3 (3): 398-415. http://www.nickdiakopoulos.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/algorithmic_accountability_final.pdf

Robotics: Ethics of artificial intelligence http://www.nature.com/news/robotics-ethics-of-artificial-intelligence-1.17611

I Know Why You Went to the Clinic: Risks and Realization of HTTPS Traffic Analysis http://arxiv.org/abs/1403.0297

What Can an Algorithm Do? http://dismagazine.com/discussion/72975/josh-scannell-what-can-an-algorithm-do/

Algorithms fit with, and help advance, specific ideological worldviews

(critical theory approach, (including capitalism, surveillance, subject/object)

Deleuze, Gilles. 1992. “Postscript on the Societies of Control.” October 59: 3-7. https://cidadeinseguranca.files.wordpress.com/2012/02/deleuze_control.pdf

Van Couvering, Elizabeth. 2004. “New Media? The Political Economy of Internet Search Engines.” In Annual Conference of the International Association of Media & Communications Researchers, Porto Alegre, Brazil, 25-30. http://www.academia.edu/1047079/New_media_The_political_economy_of_Internet_search_engines

Mager, Astrid. 2012. “Algorithmic Ideology: How Capitalist Society Shapes Search Engines.” Information, Communication & Society. 15(5) 769-787. https://www.academia.edu/953703/Algorithmic_Ideology._How_Capitalist_Society_Shapes_Search_Engines

Snake-Beings, Emit. 2013. “From Ideology to Algorithm: the Opaque Politics of the Internet” Transformations: Journal of Media and Culture 23. http://www.academia.edu/4345263/From_Ideology_to_Algorithm._Published_in_Transformations_23_2013

Kaplan, Frederic. 2014. “Linguistic Capitalism and Algorithmic Mediation.” Representations 127(1), 57-63. http://infoscience.epfl.ch/record/200539/files/Kaplan_Representations.pdf

Algorithms are complex technical assemblages, that have to be mapped

(actor network -ish)

Rieder, Bernhard. 2015. “What Is in PageRank? A Historical and Conceptual Investigation of a Recursive Status Index.” Computational Culture. http://computationalculture.net/article/what_is_in_pagerank

Ziewitz, Malte. 2011. How to think about an algorithm? Notes from a not quite random walk. Discussion paper for Symposium on “Knowledge Machines between Freedom and Control”, 29 September. http://zwtz.org/files/ziewitz_algorithm.pdf

Miyazaki, Shintaro. 2012. “Algorhythmics: Understanding Micro-Temporality in Computational Cultures.” Computational Culture. http://computationalculture.net/article/algorhythmics-understanding-micro-temporality-in-computational-cultures

Helmond, Anne. 2013. “The Algorithmization of the Hyperlink.” Computational Culture 3(3). http://www.annehelmond.nl/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/Helmond_2013_CC_AlgorithmizationOfTheHyperlink.pdf

Geiger, R. Stuart. 2014. “Bots, Bespoke, Code and the Materiality of Software Platforms.” Information, Communication & Society 17 (3): 342–56. http://stuartgeiger.com/bespoke-code-ics.pdf

Mackenzie, Donald. 2014. “A Sociology of Algorithms: High-Frequency Trading and the Shaping of Markets” working paper. http://www.maxpo.eu/Downloads/Paper_DonaldMacKenzie.pdf

Muniesa, Fabian. 2014 “Discovering stock prices” in The Provoked Economy: Economic Reality and the Performative Turn. London: Routledge. https://economics.memoryoftheworld.org/Fabian%20Muniesa/The%20Provoked%20Economy_%20Economic%20Reality%20and%20the%20Performative%20Turn%20%284%29/The%20Provoked%20Economy_%20Economic%20Reality%20and%20-%20Fabian%20Muniesa.pdf

Algorithms aren’t just technical artifacts, they’re fundamentally human in their design and their use

(social construction of technical systems approach / anthropology and ethnographic instinct)

Diakopolous, Nick. 2013. “Sex, Violence, and Autocomplete Algorithms” Slate. August 2. http://www.slate.com/articles/technology/future_tense/2013/08/words_banned_from_bing_and_google_s_autocomplete_algorithms.html

Bogost, Ian. 2015. ‘‘The Cathedral of Computation.’’ The Atlantic, January 15. http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2015/01/the-cathedral-of-computation/384300/

People work, play, and live algorithms, in specific ways, and that matters

(mediated cultural practices approach)

Beunza, Daniel and Yuval Millo “Blended Automation: Integrating Algorithms on the Floor of the New York Stock Exchange.” Working paper. http://campusvirtual.cunef.edu/documents/188956/0/141217+Blended+Automation+(2).pdf

Ekbia, Hamid and Bonnie Nardi. 2014. “Heteromation and Its (Dis)contents: the Invisible Division of Labor Between Humans and Machines.” First Monday 19(6). http://firstmonday.org/article/view/5331/4090

Geiger, R. Stuart. 2011. “The Lives of Bots.” In Wikipedia: A Critical Point of View. Geert Lovink and Nathaniel Tkacz, eds. Amsterdam: Institute of Network Cultures. http://www.stuartgeiger.com/lives-of-bots-wikipedia-cpov.pdf

Gillespie, Tarleton. 2012. “Can an Algorithm Be Wrong?” Limn 1(2). http://escholarship.org/uc/item/0jk9k4hj

What do users understand about algorithms

Hamilton, Kevin, Karrie Karahalios, Christian Sandvig, and Motahhare Eslami. 2014. “A Path to Understanding the Effects of Algorithm Awareness.” In , 631–42. ACM Press. http://social.cs.uiuc.edu/papers/pdfs/paper188.pdf

The discursive production of algorithms to shape their public perception

Sandvig, Christian. 2015. “Seeing the Sort: The Aesthetic and Industrial Defense of ‘The Algorithm.’” Journal of the New Media Caucus http://median.newmediacaucus.org/art-infrastructures-information/seeing-the-sort-the-aesthetic-and-industrial-defense-of-the-algorithm/

Methods and approaches for studying algorithmic systems

Marres, Noortje. 2012. “The redistribution of methods: on intervention in digital social research, broadly conceived.” The Sociological Review, 60(S1): 139-165. http://research.gold.ac.uk/7773/1/Marres_redistribution_of_methods.pdf

Diakopolous, Nick. (2013) “Rage against the Algorithms” The Atlantic, October 3. http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2013/10/rage-against-the-algorithms/280255/

Sandvig, Christian, Kevin Hamilton, Karrie Karahalios, and Cedric Langbort. 2014. “Auditing Algorithms: Research Methods for Detecting Discrimination on Internet Platforms.” Data and Discrimination: Converting Critical Concerns into Productive Inquiry, 64th Annual Meeting of the International Communication Association. May 22, 2014, Seattle, WA, USA. http://www-personal.umich.edu/~csandvig/research/Auditing%20Algorithms%20–%20Sandvig%20–%20ICA%202014%20Data%20and%20Discrimination%20Preconference.pdf

Sandvig, C., Hamilton, K., Karahalios, K., & Langbort, C. (2014). “An Algorithm Audit.” In: Seeta Peña Gangadharan (ed.), Data and Discrimination: Collected Essays, pp. 6-10. Washington, DC: New America Foundation. http://www-personal.umich.edu/~csandvig/research/An%20Algorithm%20Audit.pdf