Hello World


Hannah Fry


The Book in 3 Sentences


Hello World is both interesting and engaging, but was not in-depth enough to satiate my curiosity. I would have liked to learn more about the mathematics behind the algorithms and more about their ethical implications.

All in all, it’s a pop-science book—and a well-written one at that—but not an in-depth resource on algorithms.

How the Book Changed Me

My main takeaway from Hello World is that algorithms are rarely a replacement for humans—they complement us. Algorithms allow doctors to spend a quarter of the time examining a sample while still giving him or her the authority to make the final decision. In court, an algorithm might forecast the likelihood that a convict will relapse into undesirable behaviour while allowing the judge to make the final decision.

Top 3 Highlights

Although AI has come on in leaps and bounds of late, it is still only ‘intelligent’ in the narrowest sense of the word. It would probably be more useful to think of what we’ve been through as a revolution in computational statistics than a revolution in intelligence.

Hannah Fry

It’s worth noting how the experiment suggests we feel about algorithms that are right most of the time. We end up believing that they always have superior judgment.

Hannah Fry

As soon as we know an algorithm can make mistakes, we also have a rather annoying habit of over-reacting and dismissing it completely, reverting instead to our own flawed judgement. It’s known to researchers as algorithm aversion.

Hannah Fry


Referenced By

Algorithmic Bias