The use of algorithms to filter and present information online is increasingly shaping our everyday experience of the real world, a study published by Information, Communication & Society argues.
Associate Professor Michele Willson of Curtin University, Perth, Australia looked at particular examples of computer algorithms and the questions they raise about personal agency, changing world views and our complex relationship with technologies.
Algorithms are central to how information and communication are located, retrieved and presented online, for example in Twitter follow recommendations, Facebook newsfeeds and suggested Google map directions. However, they are not objective instructions but assume certain parameters and values, and are in constant flux, with changes made by both humans and machines.
Embedded in complex amalgams of political, technical, cultural and social interactions, algorithms bring about particular ways of seeing the world, reproduce stereotypes, strengthen world views, restrict choices or open previously unidentified possibilities.
The International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research is a collaborative centre that is international in scope and that achieves research excellence in astronomical science and engineering.
As a coherent and unified part of Australia’s national effort, ICRAR makes a fundamental contribution to the realisation and scientific success of the Square Kilometre Array (SKA).
ICRAR is an equal joint venture between Curtin University of Technology and The University of Western Australia. The Centre’s headquarters are located at UWA, with research nodes at both UWA and the Curtin Institute for Radio Astronomy (CIRA).
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Curtin University (formerly Curtin University of Technology) is a public university based in Perth, Western Australia, named after the 14th Prime Minister of Australia, John Curtin.
It is the largest university in Western Australia, with over 40,000 students (as of 2012).
Curtin was conferred University status after the legislation was passed by the State Government of Western Australia in 1986. Since then, the University has been actively expanding its global presence and currently has campuses in Sydney, Singapore, and Sarawak. Being a leading global institution, it has forged close ties with 90 exchange universities in more than 20 countries. The University comprises 5 main faculties with over 95 specialists centres.
Curtin is one of only two Western Australian universities to rank in the prestigious Shanghai Jiao Tong Annual Ranking of World Universities (2011). It is also one of the two Western Australian universities to rank in the Times Higher Education’s 2011-2012 world university rankings. Curtin is ranked within the top 300 universities by QS World University Rankings 2011/12. The University is also ranked in The Academic Ranking of World Universities, 2010 (ARWU) as one of the top 500 world universities.