There is No Algorithm for Truth - with Tom Scott

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Tom Scott
Tom Scott - 5 months ago
Thank you so much to all the team at the RI for inviting me! The memory of lecturing in the Faraday Theatre is going to stay with me for a long time.
Retrosta - 6 days ago
The bit about the commodification of people's personal lives reminded me of the Humdog/Carmen Hermosillo bit in All Watched Over By Machines of Loving Grace. An interesting talk!
Timothy Taylor
Timothy Taylor - 7 days ago
Excellent job, Tom! ❤️
pk - 10 days ago
Tom I think you'd find the work of Nick Couldry very interesting - specifically 'The Mediated Construction of Reality' and 'Costs of Connection'.
R Wm
R Wm - 11 days ago
Have you watched several atheist USa-video channels and concluded they’re all angry? No, it seems you have watched few, if any. I am not angry, just disappointed
Chris Kelley
Chris Kelley - 17 days ago
please consider the idea that humanity is an algorithm for truth. a dialogue or argument between to peices, then, would be the smallest unit. in this unit; we can settle for agreement IF we follow agreed upon protocol. I am not sure if the protocol between any two individuals matters; so long as the two participants set up and follow some rule to arrive at an agreement. Basically, it would go as follows; generally: "under what conditions will you consider your argument lost". if the two participants can agree on that then they can arrive at an agreement on some arguments. humanity, as the total of all arguments, would be an expression of a direction towards an evolving truth. Static truth, if considered as one idea that corresponds to a specific aspect of a shared objective non solipsistic reality, runs as a straight line parallel to realilty, another straight line on a hyperbolic surface, both will diverge. in this sense, the goal of humanity, then could be seen as a striving towards truth through honest discourse. sappy, but i like it. needs work granted.
Michael McDonald
Michael McDonald - 18 hours ago
Blaming immigrants blaming billionaires. dril_wise_man.jpg
Serban Nicolau
Serban Nicolau - 22 hours ago
The best advice can be summed in one word: SKIP.
Dan Kelly
Dan Kelly - Day ago
Thank you for admitting that you have no expertise in computer science.
Also I quickly realized your bias against something that works just because it is against heart and feelings.
CuddleShark :3
CuddleShark :3 - Day ago
idk youtube's algorithm makes me feel like it has like absolutely nothing to watch it constantly shows me the same recommendations.
duma sang
duma sang - Day ago
The Marmite analogy is preposterous because I can get a jar and test it myself. Climate change is misleading because the climate is always changing even before the creation of mankind.
Dejan Radic
Dejan Radic - Day ago
You could less cynically frame a parasocial relationship as evidence of an innate sense of friendship that we all share.....simply triggered into expression by an engagement with the person's (artist, musician, etc) work. This seems quite natural, and it would seem strange if we didn't behave this way.
Of course, the cult of the vapid celebrity is a bit more about idol worship and subjugation.....but being a fan of an artist as a person is normal and my humble opinion.
Timothy Aaron
Timothy Aaron - Day ago
The comment section should be separated by algorithms into a love-it section and a hate-it section if someone directs hate towards a site over and over in a spamlike fashion it only dilutes the hate-it section. No comments should appear until you chose either the love-it tab or the hate-it tab.
Full Of Fallacies
Full Of Fallacies - 2 days ago
I'm pretty certain you'll never see this comment, due to it being posted to an older video, but I'll write it anyway. I'm a BIG fan, so please don't take this comment wrong, or mistake my political leanings wrong, but risking both of those happening, I have to say it: When you do speeches like this, please make an effort to at least sound more "fair", politically. All of your points calling out politics were directed at the right -- and I'm NOT referring to ACTUAL bigots. The problem is, so many people are labeled N*zi's and Wh*te S*premacists JUST for being Politcally Right, so please be more specific. Also, it would be nice to see some examples directed at the Far LEfT as well, for example, Ant*fa, and such. Just a suggestion.
Tim Hawthorn
Tim Hawthorn - 2 days ago
Case in point, if 'the algorithm' was all that it would have recommended Tom's linguistics videos to me. In actual fact I'm here because Tim Traveller namechecked Tom Scott.
Tim Hawthorn
Tim Hawthorn - 2 days ago
28:23 another case in point. I may have to rewatch this section several times; you have just explained something very important (for me anyway). Just marking for future reference.
Jack Trades
Jack Trades - 3 days ago
Unfortunately science is also one big echo chamber.
Eoghan Connolly
Eoghan Connolly - 3 days ago
Google set up in Ireland so that it can pay less tax to the societies it profits enormously from. The Irish government sells itself out to multinationals.
chiffmonkey - 3 days ago
Youtube recommended this video, is that a paradox?
Shadeed Stephen
Shadeed Stephen - 3 days ago
haha it's not parasitic if someone enjoys the verbal discord and harmony the highs and lows because what ultimately makes us different from all animals is our ability to communicate. Communicating are our ultimate weapons of war and foundations of peace, the reason why science and technology have surpassed anything our forefathers and mothers have known and achieved. Communicating builds and breaks the relationships that have given birth to who we all are today, and that's why I truly like listening to you because even though you don't know me or the millions if not billions that will see your videos in a classroom. I believe most people appreciate the journey of discovering information whether it be opinion or fact, because that is what makes us human and you more than anyone know that and I can see that in your face when you do your presentations you appreciate it and the ad dollars as well.
Geoff Abell
Geoff Abell - 3 days ago
Some very useful insights. Man with many interests.
Geoff Abell
Geoff Abell - 3 days ago
And he's also my comedy/clickbait with Citation Needed...
TheMozzaok - 4 days ago
Idiotic talk based on a false premise, or in actual matter of FACTS, multiple false premises.
tithund - 4 days ago
In the olden days it was possible to downvote bad youtube comments into oblivion, the removing of that has amplified the echo chamber.
Robert Downs
Robert Downs - 4 days ago
Algorith is a dancer
Apodis - 4 days ago
It's strange how the country voted to leave the EU, yet you would never know by asking people. The most popular choice is the one people seem far less likely to admit to. Make a joke denigrating Brexit and you're sure to get a laugh. Praise Brexit and someone is sure to have something say about your opinion. Yet more people voted for it. What a can of worms.
HotMetalanMethedrine - 5 days ago
maybe I give people more credit to be able think for themselves, I've also been doing Usenet since the mid 1980's.
Ayaz Fakir
Ayaz Fakir - 5 days ago
Wyatt Walker
Wyatt Walker - 5 days ago
Recommendation algorithms are terrible. They will lead you somewhere and then take that as instruction to lead you further.
cyotee doge
cyotee doge - 6 days ago
I smell a lefty.
Harry Wilson
Harry Wilson - 6 days ago
So it's not about Tarski's undefinability theorem?
Michael Barner-Rasmussen
What simulation/visualization software did you use? Would you share some of your code i.e. the code for making dots travel the grid?
And thank you fir a great walk through :-)
darthspeaks - 6 days ago
If this was true then politicians would be out of a job.
Carpenter - 6 days ago
Very impressive.
flurng - 6 days ago
SURE there's an algorithm for truth: A-A=0. Simple.....
Carpenter - 6 days ago
500 hrs = 20 years?
Fumanshooh Quest
Fumanshooh Quest - 6 days ago
Beautiful Speech
Michal Kravec
Michal Kravec - 7 days ago
I have been seeing this video in my recommendations from November. Finally I gave in. YouTube can be so persistent.
Kat Astrophe
Kat Astrophe - 7 days ago
Education is the issue. If people are prepared to listen to others because they sound ‘authoritative’ then people need to be educated on HOW TO USE THEIR BRAINS. It’s NOT that hard! If people insist on being silly, the world/internet will treat them as such. And compulsory sterilisation becomes more and more necessary.
Earthshine Moonshine
Earthshine Moonshine - 7 days ago
Well said, I personally don't like to be persuaded that a book or a lecture has answers to all my questions because deep down I know that nobody can ever know the ultimate truth about any subject and that's why I prefer to learn about a subject by learning in my own way which is comparing all of the evidences from the dark side and from the bright side .
Al Rats
Al Rats - 7 days ago
I see no reason why Youtube can't make recommendations based on your immediate searches or veiwing history. If I search for prank videos or live TV bloopers, my recommendations could be weighted more heavily towards more light-hearted content similar to what I have in my watch history. Whereas if I search for MIT lectures, my recommendations could be weighted more heavily towards educational content. It shouldn't be difficult for the Youtube algorithm to distinguish between videos that are well referenced with peer reviewed papers and videos without any references. It should be possible to distinguish between content that's meant for comedy or entertainment and content that's meant to be educational but without reliable references. There can be an algorithm for truth of a sort; it's just that we live in a society where the pursuit of truth and the revelation of truth isn't valued above the means to accumulate material possessions.
Scott Coston
Scott Coston - 8 days ago
Look up the Search Engine Memory Effect... one of the greatest mechanism to control humans psychology that has eve been identified. JUST search for SEME... 2nd hit is from nature.
Percy Toplis
Percy Toplis - 8 days ago
All systems containing Al Gore are doomed to failure?
Ghost Dog
Ghost Dog - 9 days ago
Hmm... I'd argue the real problem is google and its monopoly. You'll notice all of these 'problems' to be overcome and the need for the algorithm are to further enrich a massive corporation. Before it was bought by google YouTube was a much better platform from the end users point of view. Its a shame Tom Scott has allowed himself to become a corporate stool pigeon.
ConfusionFusion - 9 days ago
Human gatekeepers between us and the algorithm? I can’t even reach a human when I get summoned for jury duty or need to renew my driver’s license.
iPro, Inc.
iPro, Inc. - 9 days ago
Do I call my new friend Tom or Scott? If you would add a surname, I’d watch more videos.
Jin Kee
Jin Kee - 10 days ago
All my recommendations are Forgotten Weapons and Alan Robarge Relationship Therapist.
aaron lowrey
aaron lowrey - 10 days ago
i got an ad immediately after he said Google was an advertising company :) 15:05
O.T. ART - 10 days ago
My art is so f*cked I'm not sure if I'll ever be able to monetize it lol Will I change the fact that my art is f*cked for monetization purposes and having a better chance of being recommended? Naaaaah
Chris Wilson
Chris Wilson - 10 days ago
Maxwell's Equations in their modern form were derived by Oliver Heaviside. He didn't graduate from high school. He did invent devices that changed the world and contributed significantly to the fields of math and physics. He was also a Fellow of the Royal Society. I'm not sure he could have received a graduate degree for the same reasons that Einstein was excluded from academia before his publications. Would a graduate degree have made Heaviside more qualified? His audience whether they admitted it or not were the great physicists of the world including James Clerk Maxwell himself. Restricting publications to "qualified" people would have left Einstein a patent clerk, Heaviside a telegraph operator, and Tesla a technician. Don't contribute to the movement toward censorship in modern digital publication platforms. It isn't the bad information that's the problem. It's the conditions that push people to seek it out or the ignorance required to believe it.
aaroniouse - 11 days ago
The Algorithm likes to try to get me to watch BBC news if I leave autoplay on, even though I am not subscribed to the BBC news channel..
Lorenz Witzel
Lorenz Witzel - 11 days ago
I find the point made about the gender of the top creators a bit misleading since most people dont watch pewdiepie because he is whithe or male. Correlation does not equal causation!
Christine Stromberg
Christine Stromberg - 12 days ago
I clicked on this because of the title. Sorry, but I'd never heard of Tom Scott; :)
Sean - 12 days ago
500 hours of video uploaded every minute
Yeah I’m with it
David Wilkie
David Wilkie - 12 days ago
Algorithms for Truth? Probability.
Luciano N
Luciano N - 12 days ago
Not even wearing a red shirt?
Jack Frasier
Jack Frasier - 13 days ago
First off, if your.philosophy os aligned with the ruth, i.e. you are NOT trying ro put lies over thebtruth, the machine that reveals all truth would help dismiss falsehoods throughout society. Of your core values are proven wring by such a machine, then it may be YOU who need to check your premises. If this algoruthm proves that communism is evil, then all communists might be upset about that, however it is nonetheless evident when the machine weighs all the options and evaluates its conclusion. Perhaps there is an algorithm to devulge thentruth from the lies in society, but rhat requires a fundamental understanding of metaphysics and epistemology, from which the machine will be able to prove such falsehoods. Since I believe this WILL in fact happen, the question is not to oppose the truth rhat is revealed, it is to ensure the machine helps us through to pur better enlightenment through teaching amd understanding and guidance rather tham turning all of us into paperclips.
Kerrie Redgate
Kerrie Redgate - 13 days ago
That summation at the end was a bit ironic, Tom, given your personal bias against homeopathy. The British Royal family has been using homeopathic medicines for generations now. Vibrational Medicine is the way of the future (sadly, as we need it *now*). Britain and the US are lagging behind in terms of advances in more stable healing that treats the energetics of the body-mind. In Australia, we embrace many forms of healing.
Cam Covello
Cam Covello - 14 days ago
Love it. Audio could use equalization. Sounds very thin, very easy to fix.
Hehehe hohoho
Hehehe hohoho - 14 days ago
Raiden, turn the game console off now!
Glitch Walker
Glitch Walker - 15 days ago
This is why the fight against "fake news" concerns me. You need an arbiter of "truth" - and inevitably that adds an additional layer of someone's bias (as well as the original journalist).
For example, RT has some brilliant documentaries on abuses of power and corporate harm against American companies. They have an incentive to question American government and corporations more critically than an American news organisation might. I also think RT is very biased in their general news programs.
Media literacy shouldn't be as simple as trying to spot "fake news"; it should be about finding out the bias of the place you get your news from (every source has a bias, even if the bias is neutral that in itself is a bias). It should be acknowledging how its bias affects its output, and to be able to read from a variety of sources rather than just those you agree with.
Craig Peters
Craig Peters - 15 days ago
56:35 is now rather relevant
Terracraft - 16 days ago
Nice and early
Havana Woody
Havana Woody - 16 days ago
39:50 I patronize content that would otherwise be advertising risky so high quality experiments can be done. Those who were maverick and edgy who caved to YouTube's demands I lowered my support to share with the oppressed that persisted with thier original style.
gevelegian - 16 days ago
That's why I take everything with a grain of salt. Very truthful presentation
Ja Cre
Ja Cre - 17 days ago
For anyone who is a woodworker, this video needs a trigger warning. The uneven finish on the table to the left of the speak from his perspective is a thing of nightmares.
48:48 It's weird because I use reddit and if you ask me I will definitely recommend reddit to my my friends (although I never do that, because... Why?), also I think the fact that my country block it is really stoopid...
DylanCVlogTV - 18 days ago
Yes, there is.
Ned - 18 days ago
It was was a really interesting video, but was surprised that someone who did a linguistics degree didn't know how to use whoever at 41:45. It should be whomever as it was the object in the sentence.
Josh Meyer
Josh Meyer - 19 days ago
I clicked the "Up Next" link on this video 8 times, and here's what I got (in order):
What Happens When Maths Goes Wrong? - with Matt Parker
Four Dimensional Maths: Things to See and Hear in the Fourth Dimension - with Matt Parker
What Computers Can't Do - with Kevin Buzzard
What We Cannot Know - with Marcus du Sautoy
Neil Turok Public Lecture: The Astonishing Simplicity of Everything
Avery Broderick Public Lecture: Images from the Edge of Spacetime
Emily Levesque Public Lecture: The Weirdest Stars in the Universe
Warp Drive and Aliens: Bryan Gaensler Public Lecture
Vyor - 19 days ago
those radicalization "studies" are so fake you can spot it from a mile away if you actually cared about truth.
grengren2 - 21 day ago
Gifted !
ATTE - 21 day ago
Had to pause this video and watch Cheeky girls.
Yagi - 21 day ago
I find it scary that, on the topic of "conspiracy theories on Youtube", Tom peddles an actual conspiracy theory that somehow "Youtube leads to radicalization". It has been debunked numerous times, twice in actual papers (that instead pointed at Youtube being a de-radicalizer). It's very obvious in the examples he provides, that he is simply infected by radicalism himself and there are simply people watching videos and content that he does not like - even if he pretends to hastily correct himself that it "affects the other side as well".
Mike Mikel
Mike Mikel - 22 days ago
But what if truth doesn't exist?
Angel Goldheart
Angel Goldheart - 22 days ago
I just imagined that the theoretical truth algorithm constantly suggested videos about how the algorithm is wrong
J K - 23 days ago
The billionaires have a choice to not be billionaires, but they don't. So they're different. They could help more than they do but they don't. I surely would keep a cool million to have a nice house with a pool, but then my job during the day would be giving the rest away.
Ken Hiett
Ken Hiett - 24 days ago
This leftist bloke doesn't realize the majority of white men with British accents have struggled through life like most of the other plebeians.
It's always the most advantaged among us that don't care about borders and advertise their wokeness. You would think these intellectuals would think deeply about such things and come to the proper conclusions.
They don't.
Ken Hiett
Ken Hiett - 19 days ago
@Jen'ari-asha You're not very detail oriented are you? What happened to your original critique regarding the male British accent? Oh yea, I dismantled it in 2.2 seconds...haha. I understand you don't understand, but I'm not here to babysit inferior minds. Good day to you.
Jen'ari-asha - 20 days ago
@Ken Hiett No it didn't. It was inclusive of your strawman, if your imagination. The open border stuff you literally just got from some dark recess of your mind. You are titling at windmills.
Ken Hiett
Ken Hiett - 20 days ago
@Jen'ari-asha First of all; if you think a heavy cockney accent is usually interpreted as authoritative you are delusional. Secondly; my original post was inclusive of his overall distorted perspective.
Jen'ari-asha - 20 days ago
Ken Hiett I did. He never claims the type of things you’re saying. You’re simply reading into his innocous (and true) statements about how white men with British accents tend to have an easier tile coming across as authoritative and trustworthy. That is true.
Ken Hiett
Ken Hiett - 20 days ago
@Jen'ari-asha It's not my victim complex. I'm one of the highly advantaged. I suggest you listen to his presentation in its entirety again. I didn't make my comment frivolously and I stand by this very accurate viewpoint.
PK_84STION - 24 days ago
How long do we have to wait to get a Sir Tom Scott FRS?
Sebastian Johannssen
Sebastian Johannssen - 24 days ago
Wow is this a New Channel? Never Seen it before But so Catchy even without Clickbait
The Royal Institution
The Royal Institution - 22 days ago
We've been going for a good while now - so we've got a big backlog of videos for you to check out!
Lee Shallis
Lee Shallis - 24 days ago
Why not simply use multiple "algorithms", then just provide each list to the viewer under appropriate names instead
DragonThigh - 25 days ago
Just noticed, the Royal Institution has a patreon link in the description
Adam Schlinker
Adam Schlinker - 25 days ago
"You've got to remember. All these big companies are all advertising companies. Almo...." *Advertisement plays*
tyskbulle - 25 days ago
Remove people and almost everything gets very, very dull.
David Yeakle
David Yeakle - 25 days ago
Why did Tom go to a conference for science communicators? Most of his videos are about stuff like a bridge that's in two countries at once. I'd say he's much more of a random trivia channel than a science channel.
David Yeakle
David Yeakle - 25 days ago
I think you should do a no deal brexit. What's so hard about it that it's taking you limey morons so long to make any progress whatsoever? When the US left the UK we just started shooting at you. It didn't take us 17 years to do anything. It's really not as complicated as you think it is. Either do what people voted for or stop pretending to care about democracy.
MrATN800 - 26 days ago
47:06 "That's not just a label"
... press x to doubt
Tom is a marvellous science communicator, but he can hilariously biased/ out of touch with anything that concerns politics.
Jen'ari-asha - 20 days ago
So you wouldn't call people like Richard Spencer Nazis?
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