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Magalie Quet - 26/01/2018

"La Science Se Livre" awards Gilles Dowek and Serge Abiteboul for their publication

As part of La Science se Livre, an event aimed at promoting scientific culture, the Hauts-de-Seine department has given an award to two Inria researchers, Gilles Dowek and Serge Abiteboul, from the Deducteam (Saclay - Île-de-France Centre) and Valda (Paris centre) teams respectively, for their book entitled Le Temps des algorithmes .

Ten books competed for the 17th edition of the award.

Selection for the 2018 edition was carried out by a steering committee composed of the French National Library - the National Centre of Literature for Young People - Joy Through Books (La Joie par les livres), the Cité des Sciences Library of Science and Industry - Universcience, and the BIB92 Association, which groups together the libraries and multimedia libraries in Hauts-de-Seine.

The literature was selected based on:

  • the originality of the subject matter;
  • its scientific worth;
  • the quality of its transfer of knowledge to the public.

The panel chose the 2018 award winners from the “Adults” and “Teens” categories in December.

Each winner will receive a 3,500 euro prize as well as support from the Hauts-de-Seine Departmental Council distributing the work across the department’s network of public libraries, independent bookstores, and secondary schools.

A panel of experts

For the 2018 edition, the panel was made up of leading scientific and literary figures:

  • Chair of the panel: Pierre-Henri Gouyon - National Museum of Natural History - Biologist and Professor at AgroParisTech, École Normale Supérieure (ENS) and at Sciences Po;
  • Director of deliberations: Virginie Bonnaillie-Noel - École Normale Supérieure de Paris (ENS), Department of Mathematics and Applications - Director of Research at CNRS;
  • Members of the panel:
    • Nadeige Bouvard - Director of the Network of Media Libraries in Clamart - Ville de Clamart/Territoire Vallée Sud Grand Paris - Member of the National Board of Scientific, Technical and Industrial Culture;
    • Sophie Cailleux - “Science” Commission for the BiB 92 Association - Meudon Media Library;
    • Alain Doressoundiram - Observatoire de Paris - LESIA - CNRS UMR 8109/Université Pierre et Marie Curie/Université Paris Denis Diderot;
    • Denis Guthleben - CNRS - Science Attaché for the CNRS Committee for History, Editor-in-chief of Histoire de la recherche contemporaine (History of Contemporary Research);
    • Bruno Jarry - Director of CLAVIM, the Culture, Leisure and Community Association for the town of Issy-les-Moulineaux;
    • Michel Netzer - French National Library - Director - Science and Technology Department;
    • Laure Sabatier - Commissariat à l’énergie atomique et aux énergies alternatives (CEA) - Head of the Radiobiology and Oncology Laboratory - Director of the Programme transverse Toxicologie (Transverse Toxicology Program);
    • Emeline Thepaut - Manager of the Adult-Teen section of the media library in Marine - Colombes media library network;
    • Jacques Vidal-Naquet - French National Library - Director - Art and Literature Department - National Centre of Literature for Young People.

“Le temps des algorithmes” - Serge Abiteboul and Gilles Dowek - Éditions Le Pommier

Édition Le Pommier

For some time now, all languages have contained algorithms – and they are as troubling as they are fascinating. They can quickly take us from one extreme to the other: we welcome the fact that they make our lives easier, but we fear that they are enslaving us...

To put an end to this Manichaean view, this work offers a new perspective on our time; on this age of algorithms. To begin with, let us stop thinking of algorithms as mysterious beings riddled with evil intentions. After all, algorithms are a product of human creation. They are what we wanted them to be.

Algorithms are first and foremost solutions, yet these solutions are not neutral. Even if they are behind the radical transformations that have taken place within the concepts of work, property, government, responsibility, privacy and even humanity, it is up to us to decide which way to tip the scales. Algorithms may be the first tool that reflects our aspirations. Let us stop suffering them by trying to understand them. By doing this, we can become masters of our destiny.

Keywords: Gilles Dowek Serge Abiteboul Algorithmes