Algorithms to Live By

  • by Brian Christian, Tom Griffiths
  • Narrated by Brian Christian
  • 11 hrs and 50 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

A fascinating exploration of how 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 problems 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 simple, precise 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 human memory, Algorithms to Live By transforms the wisdom of computer science into strategies for human living.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Delightful insights into and from computer science

The authors set out to provide insights from computer science to help in your everyday life - how long to search before committing to your flat or wife, how to organise your closet to find your favourite clothes quickly, how to schedule interruptions and context switches to make your to-do list disappear faster. However, they also do a great job of sketching out the challenges that the wunderkinder at Google or Amazon solve everyday in their unending quest to make our lives better and richer and easier.

Written by two computer scientists the prose is limpidly clear. Their logically trained minds cannot tolerate any ambiguity in a sentence - which makes the book above averagely readable, despite fairly sophisticated material.

Narration. Sort of apt - read very clearly and melodiously by one of the authors (who thus understands the material), at exactly the correct speed for comprehension (I bet Christian researched this and timed himself). A little bit like an AI machine might narrate...
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- Judy Corstjens

One of the most educational and fun books I've read

A great book from start to finish.
Every chapter has a great balance of computer science and its application to human life alongside a healthy dose of history.

The first book I've heard in audio that proved too good not to buy a readable version for reference.

Please write a follow up!
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- errumm

Book Details

  • Release Date: 19-04-2016
  • Publisher: Brilliance Audio