Technology has been taking over the news world for at least four years now. Journalism has received a makeover and news has become just a click away. My parents still read the newspaper every morning and I have observed that mainly people from the generation before the technology boom, read their hardcopy newspapers as well and go to their news, but those who have become more technologically savvy, tend to have news automatically come to them.
When I say people go to news, it means that those people seek out to be informed, by reading the newspaper or turning on the news at a certain time. Ken Doctor, author of “Newsenomics: Twelve New Trends That Will Shape the News you Get”, states “we live in a news bubble, we don’t so much get the news as the news gets us, sometimes surrounding us” (Doctor 2009 pp.11). Media has become so readily available; it’s almost impossible to avoid the latest news reports. Technology does 90% of the work to make this happen and humans do the 10%, which adds the skill and intelligence technology needs to function. That 10% is what differentiates what technology is able to do (Doctor). Technology allows us to receive information faster and in the best format and the people who are involved in running the stories are putting together the whole package. An example would be publishers increasing their content’s IQ, knowing what they have created and organizing the information by topic, audience, location and more (Doctor).
Algorithms are an example of human involvement in technology. Algorithms are sets of instructions or codes that communicate with technology and tell it how to operate. According to BBC News, “ algorithms may be cleverer then humans but the don’t necessarily have out sense of perspective” (Wakefield 2011). The news article discusses the theory of computers taking over and becoming smarter than human beings, and how algorithms have become the main source of intelligence, but the take over has yet to come. The Public Learning Media Laboratory discusses how algorithms are operating on sets of assumptions and are constantly changing. The assumptions include whether the site has words and phrases consistent to the inquiry, does it have a lot of other sites liked to it, and what the big titles on the page say (PLML). These assumptions are used to match applicable content to the subject you have inquired. Google uses algorithms by having the user type in a key word or certain source and a whole list of relevant sources appear.
Knowing the behind-the-scenes of technology and media is enlightening and helps users become more technologically savvy. Since there is the possibility of computers becoming smarter than humans, being informed will help for an easier transition into the next age of technology. Having such advanced systems is also a great way to be easily informed.
- Searching for the Perfect Algorithm. Public Learning Media Laboratory. Retrieved from: http://www.plml.org/information-literacy-education/searching-for-the-perfect-algorithm
- Wakefield, Jane. (2011). When Algorithms Control the World. BBC News. Retrieved from: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-14306146
- Doctor, Ken. (2010). Newsenomics: Twelve New Trends that Will Shape the News You Get.