Publication of algorithm investigation brought forward after Cambridge Analytica scandal

Publication of algorithm investigation brought forward after Cambridge Analytica scandal

Following recent news reports into the Cambridge Analytica scandal, Bloomsbury Sigma is bringing forward the publication of an investigation into how algorithms control our lives by leading mathematical modeler, David Sumpter.

Sumpter's Outnumbered: From Facebook and Google to Fake News and Filter-bubbles – The Algorithms That Control Our Lives will now be published on 19th April, a month earlier than planned, and the e-book will be released on the same day.

Data analytics firm Cambridge Analytica has been making headlines since its involvement in the US election was revealed by the Guardian, which also revealed the firm used personal information harvested from more than 50 million Facebook profiles without permission to build a system that could target US voters with personalised political advertisements based on their psychological profile.

As part of Sumpter’s investigation, he examines the Cambridge Analytica story and interviews Global Science Research (GSR) founder Aleksandr Kogan who was personally named in the whistleblowing interview with Cambridge Analytica employee Chris Wylie.

Jim Martin, senior commissioning editor for Bloomsbury Sigma, said: "David’s brilliant exposition of the influence of algorithms on our daily lives was already a remarkable and thought-provoking book, but this story has brought these issues to the attention of the world. We are starting to see the paths an algorithm-driven future might lead us down. This book could not be more timely."

Outnumbered also asks questions about how Facebook builds a 100-dimensional picture of our personalities, and if algorithms that are designed to find criminals are making terrible mistakes – but "most importantly whether or not we should really be worried".

Originally from London, Sumpter is professor of applied mathematics at the University of Uppsala, Sweden and author of Soccermatics: Mathematical Adventures in the Beautiful Game (Bloomsbury Sigma).