Algorithms to Live By

  • by Brian Christian, Tom Griffiths
  • Narrated by Brian Christian
  • 11 hrs and 50 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

A fascinating exploration of how computer algorithms can be applied to our everyday lives, helping to solve common decision-making problems and illuminate the workings of the human mind.
All our lives are constrained by limited space and time, limits that give rise to a particular set of problems. What should we do, or leave undone, in a day or a lifetime? How much messiness should we accept? What balance of new activities and familiar favorites is the most fulfilling? These may seem like uniquely human quandaries, but they are not: computers, too, face the same constraints, so computer scientists have been grappling with their version of such problems for decades. And the solutions they've found have much to teach us.
In a dazzlingly interdisciplinary work, acclaimed author Brian Christian and cognitive scientist Tom Griffiths show how the simple, precise algorithms used by computers can also untangle very human questions. They explain how to have better hunches and when to leave things to chance, how to deal with overwhelming choices and how best to connect with others. From finding a spouse to finding a parking spot, from organizing one's inbox to understanding the workings of human memory, Algorithms to Live By transforms the wisdom of computer science into strategies for human living.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Absolute Must Listen

If you are into computers, this book is a must, and if you are not, it is still very interesting. You get to hear about numerous different algorithms that affect our daily lives in a unique and interesting narrative. This book is written by authorities. One of the authors is an accomplished Professor and the other an extremely accomplished author.

This book seeks to shed light on the various algorithms that shape our lives that computer science has in many cases solved. This books does not have equations or heavy theory so lay-listeners are safe, but there is enough meat on the bone for us folks in the biz something to chew on. Give it a listen.
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- G. House Sr. "I am an avid listener. I listen between 75-100 hours per month on my iPhone: 60% fiction to 40% non-fiction."

Answer is 37%

The answer is 37% to the optimal stopping problem. If you expect to date 20 people, how do you know whether to settle or move on to the next person. To maximize your expected result, don't make a decision until you've gone through 37% of the pool to form your criteria. In this example, it would be 7. Then after that, the next person you date who is better than all the previous should be the one you select. If you enjoy mathematics or computer science, you'll enjoy this book.
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- A. Yoshida

Book Details

  • Release Date: 04-19-2016
  • Publisher: Brilliance Audio