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Deloitte Global predicted more than 80 of the world’s 100 largest enterprise software companies will have cognitive technologies – mediated by algorithms – integrated into their products by the end of 2016.

As Brian Christian and Tom Griffiths write in , algorithms provide ‘a better standard against which to compare human cognition itself.’ They are also a goad to consider that same cognition: How are we thinking and what does it mean to think through algorithms to mediate our world?

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The expanding collection and analysis of data and the resulting application of this information can cure diseases, decrease poverty, bring timely solutions to people and places where need is greatest, and dispel millennia of prejudice, ill-founded conclusions, inhumane practice and ignorance of all kinds.

Our algorithms are now redefining what we think, how we think and what we know.

These can now manage basic processes of monitoring, measuring, counting or even seeing. The result: As information tools and predictive dynamics are more widely adopted, our lives will be increasingly affected by their inherent conclusions and the narratives they spawn.” “The overall impact of ubiquitous algorithms is presently incalculable because the presence of algorithms in everyday processes and transactions is now so great, and is mostly hidden from public view.

All of our extended thinking systems (algorithms fuel the software and connectivity that create extended thinking systems) demand more thinking – not less – and a more global perspective than we have previously managed.

[See “About this canvassing of experts” for further details about the limits of this sample.] Participants were asked to explain their answers, and most wrote detailed elaborations that provide insights about hopeful and concerning trends.