n. Rule or government by algorithm.
In the ‘Threat of Algocracy’ I used ideas and arguments drawn from political philosophy to assess the social and political impact of algorithmic governance. I defined algorithmic governance — or as I prefer ‘algocracy’ — as the use of data-mining, predictive and descriptive analytics to constrain and control human behaviour. I then argued that the increased prevalence of algocratic systems posed a threat to the legitimacy of governance.
As the entities dictating how computers make such "smart" decisions, algorithms are fueling this, and more than a few writers have coined clever ways to describe contemporary society’s reliance on them: algocracy, algorithmic culture, new theology, idols and/or gods.
In an ideal-typical sense, the new form of management – or what I call algocracy, i.e., the rule of algorithm – shifts from its industrial predecessor chiefly in two respects. First, domination is less and less distributed through elaborate worker hierarchies; rather, it is increasingly effected through information and software systems that structure the possible forms of work behavior. Second, algocratic governance appears to partly transform the early subject-object relationships, where a superordinate as an observing subject must watch over the work of a subordinate.
The initial governments actually consist of computers designed expressly for the job of governing fairly. Since these algocracies (for want of a better word) could quite easily have been created to think in a way completely unlike the nationalistic way that the governments of today tend to think.
Thanks to Tim O'Reilly for spying this word.