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Synopsis

How the rise of computerized decision-making affects every aspect of business and daily life

The bot takeover began with high frequency trading on Wall Street, and from there it spread to all manners of high-level tasks—such as diagnosing illnesses or interpreting legal documents. There is no realm of human endeavor safe from algorithms that employ speed, precision and nuance.

In this fascinating book, Steiner tells the story of how algorithms took over and shows why the “bot revolution” is about to spill into every aspect of our lives. We meet bots that are driving cars, penning haikus, and writing music mistaken for Bach’s. They listen in on customer service calls and figure out what Iran would do in the event of a nuclear standoff. On Wall Street, pre-programmed algorithmic deals are executed by machines faster than any human could—leaving human investors at a severe disadvantage.

But what will the world look like when algorithms control our hospitals, our roads, and our national security? Is a stock market controlled by high-speed trading bots worth investing in? And what role will be left for doctors, lawyers, writers, truck drivers, and many others?

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