Digital Literacy: Search Algorithms are Mechanical Turks

Thursday, December 08, 2011 Comment vintage drawing of man in headdress building a political set

One of the most pervasive features of computing culture are algorithms, the sets of processes or instructions contained in computer code that determine how a particular task will be completed. While algorithms power everything from your automatic coffee maker to your smart phone, because they are frequently hidden from their users, it can be easy to ignore these algorithms and their impact on how we gain access to information. One of the areas where algorithms have the most impact is on our information search and retrieval practices. Online search is dominated by complex searching algorithms, the