For Researchers, Risk Is a Vanishing Luxury

The Chronicle of Higher Education — For Researchers, Risk Is a Vanishing Luxury: In her latest book, Roberta Ness, vice president for innovation at the University of Texas School of Public Health, says a basic mission of the American research university is eroding, with predictability prized over boldness at almost every level. Universities increasingly judge faculty members…
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Refusing to Be Evaluated by a Formula

Insider Higher Education — Refusing to Be Evaluated by a Formula: Rutgers faculty members, citing philosophical concerns and errors, are pushing back against the use of Academic Analytics to evaluate their productivity. Martínez-San Miguel [professor of Latino and Hispanic Caribbean studies at Rutgers] gave the company the benefit of the doubt, guessing that at least some of…
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When Your Boss Is an Uber Algorithm

MIT Technology Review – When Your Boss Is an Uber Algorithm: How Uber controls its drivers despite its claims to be a neutral platform She [Carnegie Mellon University researcher Min Kyung Lee] found that much of the time they were happy with the “algorithmic management” that assigned fares and raised rates during busy periods. But drivers also…
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Curating a MediaCommons Collection on Algorithms

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I was flattered a few months ago to be asked to develop a MediaCommons Field Guide survey on the general topic of algorithms. In consultation with (and following the sage advice of) the MediaCommons editorial team, I formulated the following question to be addressed by respondents: What opportunities are available to influence the way algorithms are programmed,…
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#MakeItHappy and Algorithmic Rhetoric

Check out this Gawker article on its attempts to reveal the insipidity of the nifty algorithm Coca Cola developed as part of its #MakeItHappy Twitter campaign. Several aspects of the story interest me, which I plan to address in upcoming posts. For now, consider this irony: Coke’s algorithm got called out by Gawker’s algorithm.