If I need to explain algorithms to an 8-year-old child, I would like to use how he or she gets his or her sandwich in the Subway as an example. To be specific, I would tell him or her that every time you go to the Subway, the process of your ordering is an algorithm. You will choose the bread and its size you want at first, and then choose the meat and vegetables, finally you will choose the sauce, by following these steps which are designed in advance, you will get your own particular Subway sandwich from “infinite” choice. Algorithms just like guidebooks, you follow those predesigned steps to close to your goal and finally you will achieve it.
In my perspective, the most important part that algorithms have been affecting me is absolutely daily navigation. I am not the person who always lost his or her way, but no matter when I was in Beijing or now in Gainesville, I would like Apps like Baidu map or Google map to navigate me to my destination. Because based on the algorithms these Apps use, I can always avoid traffic jams and arrive at my destination in the shortest time. What’s more, sometimes when I don’t drive my car and do not in a hurry. I would always choose “less walking” mode (how lazy I am) , thus these Apps will use algorithms to redesign a route for me even if it will cost more time to arrive at the destination. Even though algorithms of navigation have already brought me so much convenience, I have to say they sometimes don’t make a perfect prediction about how long will I use. While because I am accustomed to rely on these Apps and trust them, sometimes I will arrive in advance (that’s fine), while sometimes I will be late for some significant appointments.
As for Crawford’s article, among the ten “scenes” he talked about that can affect our real life, I have to say “scenes” No.2 resonates me most, because online shopping is actually a significant part of my life. During my experience of using shopping websites, on the one hand, algorithms of these websites help me a lot. When I arrived in Gainesville in June, I had no bed in my own room, so I decided to buy one on Amazon. After I chose a bed, Amazon recommended products that customers frequently bought together, so I saved lots of time to find a mattress. While on the other hand, because this function is based on the algorithm for every customer of Amazon, which means the recommended products sometimes don’t suitable a certain person for every time, even if the algorithm had been optimized for him or her. Go on with my experience of bed and mattress I referred above, when I finally got them, I thought I would have a good sleep that night, while I found the mattress is too soft for me, maybe it is comfortable for all customers except me. This makes never use this function any more till now, for I realize that I know who I am and what I like than algorithms do.