Algorithms Are Eating The World

May 15, 2015 3:13 am

Marc Andreessen wrote this in 2011 – in his WSJ piece aptly titled Why Software Is Eating The World:

“More and more major businesses and industries are being run on software and delivered as online services—from movies to agriculture to national defense. Many of the winners are Silicon Valley-style entrepreneurial technology companies that are invading and overturning established industry structures. Over the next 10 years, I expect many more industries to be disrupted by software, with new world-beating Silicon Valley companies doing the disruption in more cases than not.”

It is probably not software that is eating the world – it is the algorithms that sit behind such software, that are eating the world. Algorithms are everywhere, starting with what you receive in your mail, to the ads that follow you online. Recommendation engines are just small evidences of algorithms at work – if you look around, you will realize that a complete transition of the world’s functioning is in full swing, from humans to algorithms.

What you read, what you watch, what you listen and what you eat have all been driven by algorithms for so long now, it just seems natural. Where you go, who you meet and what you think about – these are areas that are starting to see the impact of algorithms. Targeted marketing messages, price prediction engines and behavior simulation machines are just the tip of the iceberg. Algorithms are here, and are taking over huge parts of our lives.

Make no mistake, algorithms are eating the world.

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