Who made that decision: You or an algorithm?

When we buy something on Amazon or watch something on Netflix, we think it’s our own choice. It turns out that algorithms influence one-third of our decisions on Amazon and more than 80 percent on Netflix. What’s more, algorithms have their own biases. They can even go rogue.

drawing of a head and neck and shoulders with what looks like wheel machinery in the brain to indicate the concept of an algorithm.

In his recent book, “A Human’s Guide to Machine Intelligence: How Algorithms Are Shaping Our Lives and How We Can Stay in Control,” Kartik Hosanagar, a professor of operations, information and decisions at Wharton, focuses on these issues and more. He discusses how algorithmic decisions can go wrong and how we can control the way technology impacts decisions that are made for us or about us.

Hosanagar notes that a solution to this complex problem is that we must “engage more actively and more deliberately and be part of the process of influencing how these technologies develop.”

Read more at Knowledge@Wharton.