Episode 57
Bytes
The Black Box.
Host Nono Martínez Alonso and Aziz Barbar on how complex machines work, technological polarization, and the growing need to make algorithms understandable.
December 13, 2021
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13 min
0:00 / 13:31

0:00 / 13:31

Episode Notes

Host Nono Martínez Alonso and Aziz Barbar on how complex machines work, technological polarization, and the growing need to make algorithms understandable.

Nono hosts the Getting Simple podcast, sketches things that call his attention, writes stories about enjoying a slower life, and records live streams and tutorials on creative coding and machine intelligence.

Aziz is an architect and design technologist. He occasionally teaches design courses on computation and the built environment.


Favorite quotes

  • "Do we have a backup plan? Very few of us know, we're just blindly trusting these black boxes."
  • "We're going to have to find ways - we as in the people making the algorithms and people who are technical - to explain how these programs are making decisions for them."

Links

People mentioned

Chapters

  • 00:00 · Intro
  • 00:22 · What's the machine doing?
  • 01:21 · Visible mechanisms and the Pascaline
  • 02:49 · Obscuring how mechanisms work
  • 05:02 · Open Source Software
  • 06:13 · Computers excel at complex and repetitive tasks
  • 07:07 · Who's making the background algorithms we use daily?
  • 08:51 · What does 'black boxing' mean?
  • 10:03 · Two types of black box
  • 10:37 · Machine learning and explainability
  • 11:33 · Polarization and a growing need to make algorithms understandable

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