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Computer and video games are algorithmic storytelling.

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However, sometimes the application of algorithms created with good intentions leads to unintended consequences.

Recent news items tie to these concerns: The use of algorithms is spreading as massive amounts of data are being created, captured and analyzed by businesses and governments. presidential election post-mortems noted the revolutionary impact of web-based tools in influencing its outcome, XPrize Foundation CEO Peter Diamandis predicted that “five big tech trends will make this election look tame.” He said advances in quantum computing and the rapid evolution of AI and AI agents embedded in systems and devices in the Internet of Things will lead to hyper-stalking, influencing and shaping of voters, and hyper-personalized ads, and will create new ways to misrepresent reality and perpetuate falsehoods.

These can now manage basic processes of monitoring, measuring, counting or even seeing. The result: As information tools and predictive dynamics are more widely adopted, our lives will be increasingly affected by their inherent conclusions and the narratives they spawn.” “The overall impact of ubiquitous algorithms is presently incalculable because the presence of algorithms in everyday processes and transactions is now so great, and is mostly hidden from public view.

All of our extended thinking systems (algorithms fuel the software and connectivity that create extended thinking systems) demand more thinking – not less – and a more global perspective than we have previously managed.

Hacking, cyberattacks and cryptographic code-breaking exploit algorithms.

Self-learning and self-programming algorithms are now emerging, so it is possible that in the future algorithms will write many if not most algorithms.

That, by itself, is a tall order that requires impartial experts backtracking through the technology development process to find the models and formulae that originated the algorithms.

Then, keeping all that learning at hand, the experts need to soberly assess the benefits and deficits or risks the algorithms create. Who has the time, the budget and resources to investigate and recommend useful courses of action?

[See “About this canvassing of experts” for further details about the limits of this sample.] Participants were asked to explain their answers, and most wrote detailed elaborations that provide insights about hopeful and concerning trends.

Respondents were allowed to respond anonymously; these constitute a slight majority of the written elaborations.

Following that introductory section there is a much more in-depth look at respondents’ thoughts tied to each of the themes. There is fairly uniform agreement among these respondents that algorithms are generally invisible to the public and there will be an exponential rise in their influence in the next decade.

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