Illustration courtesy of: Jое M.

Algorithms Tell Us How to Think, and This is Changing Us

As computers learn how to mimic us, are we starting to be more like them?

Orge Castellano
5 min readJan 21, 2019


Silicon Valley is predicting more and more how we are going to respond to an email, react on someone’s Instagram picture, determine which government services are we eligible for, and soon a forthcoming Google Assistant will be able to call our hairdresser for us in real-time.

We have invited algorithms practically everywhere, from hospitals and schools to courtrooms. We are surrounded by autonomous automation. Lines of code can tell us what to watch, whom to date, and even whom should the justice system send to jail.

Are we making a mistake by handing over so much decision-making authority and control to lines of code?

We are obsessed with mathematical procedures because they give us fast, accurate answers to a range of complex problems. Machine learning systems have been implemented in almost every realm of our modern society.

Yet, what we should be asking ourselves is, are we making a mistake by handing over so much decision-making authority and control to lines of code? And, how algorithms are affecting our lives?

In an ever-changing world, machines are doing a great job at learning how humans behave, what we like and hate, and what is best for us at a fast pace. We’re currently living within the chambers of predictive technology — Oh hey there Autocomplete!

Algorithms have drastically transformed our lives by sorting through the vastness data and giving us relevant, instantaneous results. By collecting big amounts of data we have given companies over the years the power to decide what’s best for us.

Companies like Alphabet or Amazon have been feeding their respective algorithms with the data harvested and are instructing AI into using the information gathered to adapt to our needs and be more like us. Yet as we get used to these handy features, are we talking and behaving more like a computer?

“Algorithms are not inherently fair, because the person who builds the model defines success.”



Orge Castellano

Journalist and multilingual researcher at your service. More stories on