Algorithms to Live By: The Computer Science of Human Decisions

Algorithms to Live By: The Computer Science of Human Decisions

A fascinating exploration of how insights from 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 issues 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 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 memory, Algorithms to Live By transforms the wisdom of computer science into strategies for human living.

Title:Algorithms to Live By: The Computer Science of Human Decisions
Edition Language:English
ISBN:9781627790369
Format Type:

    Algorithms to Live By: The Computer Science of Human Decisions Reviews

  • B Schrodinger

    This is one of those books that you pick up in the hope that it lives up to its title but is likely not to because it was written by someone from marketing. Every now and then it pays off, and this is...

  • Brian Clegg

    I was captivated by much of this book. It's the perfect antidote to the argument you often hear from young maths students - 'What's the point? I'll never use this in real life!' This often comes up wi...

  • David

    I enjoy thinking about algorithms as they are applied to technical problems. So, when I saw this book, I thought, "This is a book written just for me." And, that assessment was absolutely correct. It ...

  • Amir Tesla

    Okay, I loved this book. So what is it about?The big pictureWe encounter many problems in our daily life, for instance, should I park my car here or proceed with the hope of finding a free spot a bit ...

  • Rossdavidh

    Even though I'm a computer programmer, I have to say when I saw the title I was a bit put off. Algorithms are what I use for telling a computer what to do, but I'm not sure I feel comfortable with usi...

  • Riku Sayuj

    A simple algorithm to conceive of literary plots could be to slot them as belonging to one of these categories: Man vs. Nature, Man vs. Self, Man vs. Man & Man vs. Society. Brian & Tom enlists finding...

  • Bill

    I really enjoyed this book. It's a nice popular review of research, in a style similar to Malcolm Gladwell. It was fascinating to see the wide-reaching applications of classic algorithms from computer...

  • Kony

    An engaging conceptual tour of computational/networking concepts, how they apply in the computer world, and how we can use them to reframe, streamline, and manage a diverse array of real-life problems...

  • Arunothia Marappan

    In this book the authors explain famous algorithms in real world context. My notes from this book - (1) Optimal Stopping(2) Old people don't lose memory - they have so much of it that it slows their s...

  • Andrew

    So many great one-liners in this book.Stop on Tinder at 37%.Use thick markers in brainstorming.All things being equal, it'll last as long as it's lasted.But lest you think this is another fluffy brain...