Heuristics are the theme of CEST’s new bulletin

The author defines it as mental algorithms that produce quick judgments with limited information

Edson Perin

The Centro de Estudos Sociedade e Tecnologia (CEST or Center of Studies Society and Technology), from the University of São Paulo (USP), publishes on its website the bulletin “Heuristics, social networks and algorithms”, authored by Lucas Lago, Master in Computer Engineering from POLI-USP, assistant researcher at IPT and researcher at CEST. The document contains a view that heuristics are mental algorithms that produce quick judgments with limited information.

Those algorithms, according to Lago, are used by companies operating on the Internet to assist the work of filtering irrelevant data. Lago presents Facebook as an example of social media which is “using a machine-based learning algorithm, with more than 100,000 parameters in order to predict what content will interest more every user.”

The theme of the discussion involves the concern that, in order to show more of what we like and/or agree, social media show less and less information to take the client in the comfort zone. “This effect is not limited to social networks,” explains Lago. “Search engines, like Google and Bing, online stores like Amazon, and even news sites customize what they show according to the readers’ preferences.”

To learn more about this and other issues addressed in CEST bulletins and download the documents that you want, visit the following link: http://www.cest.poli.usp.br/boletins/