Examining the Global Reach of Algorithms

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Examining the Global Reach of Algorithms is an interdisciplinary working group led by Massimo Mazzotti (History), David Bates (Rhetoric), Caitlin Rosenthal (History), Jenna Burrell (Information Science), Morgan Ames (CSTMS), and Gretchen Gano (CSTMS). We explore the increasingly important and multifaceted roles that algorithms play in politics, media, science, organizations, culture, and the construction of the self across heterogeneous global settings. A foundational concept in computer science, algorithms – loosely defined as a set of rules to direct the behavior of machines or humans – have shaped infrastructures, practices, and daily lives around the world. As a result, understanding the implications of their development and deployment has become ever more pressing, in both academia and public discourse. We seek to contribute to a growing literature that takes algorithms as an object of cultural inquiry from a social scientific and humanistic perspective.

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