Humans vs Computers
Humans vs Computers
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Humans vs Computers

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Completed on 2017-08-29

About the Book

Our lives are increasingly tracked and monitored by software. In this brave new world, humans can’t cope with information overload. Governments and companies rely on computers to automatically detect fraud, predict behaviour and enforce laws. Inflexible automatons, barely smarter than a fridge, now make life-changing decisions. Computers are determined to follow instructions to the letter – but the instructions are human, and flawed! The results can be unexpected, catastrophic, and very, very funny. 

Humans vs Computers is a book about ordinary people caught between wrong assumptions and computer bugs. Some of the hilarious examples include humans who are invisible to computers, how a default password once caused a zombie apocalypse, and why airlines sometimes give away free tickets. This is also a book on how to prevent, avoid and reduce the impact of such problems. 

From the man whose new personalised number plate brought him 2,000 parking fines a month to the prisoner released 3 years early by an automated parole review, these cautionary tales will make you laugh till you cry.

When you’re banging your head against a digital wall, the stories in this book will help you understand better what’s going on and show you where to look for problems. 

For people involved in software delivery, this book will help you find more empathy for the people suffering from your mistakes, and discover heuristics to use during analysis, development or testing to make your software less error prone.

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About the Author

Gojko Adzic
Gojko Adzic

Gojko Adzic is a partner at Neuri Consulting LLP. He is the winner of the 2016 European Software Testing Outstanding Achievement Award, and the 2011 Agile Testing Days Most Influential Professional award. Gojko's book Specification by Example won the Jolt Award for the best book of 2012, and his blog won the UK Agile Award for the best online publication in 2010.

Gojko is a frequent keynote speaker at leading software development conferences, and one of the authors of MindMup and Claudia.js. As a consultant, Gojko helped companies around the world improve software delivery, from some of the largest financial institutions to small innovative startups.

To get in touch, write to or visit

Table of Contents

    • Introduction
  • Artificial, but not intelligence
    • Licence to VOID
    • Get out of jail free
    • –1 books
    • Pepsi 349
    • The haunted farm in the middle of America
    • The older younger brother
    • The Kennedy sisters fraud
  • The surprising facts about our world
    • Hubert Blaine Wolfe+585, Sr
    • They
    • The four-letter N-word
    • Facebook Jamal Ibrahim
    • TDCU 1ZZ
    • Leap year HICAPS
    • 610,000 JPY
  • Algorithms as fast as food
    • Keep Calm and Go Bankrupt
    • The Making of a Fly
    • Panic aggregator
    • The MiDAS touch
    • Robo-debt
    • The Grand Rapids massacre
    • Police e-mail
    • Girls, alcohol, cocaine and whatever
  • Wild, wild tech
    • The Northumbrian coffee party
    • Rounding up the parliament
    • Unicode of Death
    • That ’70s iPhone
    • February 2038
    • Have you turned your Dreamliner off and on again?
    • Free money Saturday
    • Mr Test
    • Five blanks hit the target
  • The Inverse Monkey Rule
    • Personal names
    • Time
    • Addresses
    • Numbers
    • Process automation
    • Appendix: References and bibliography
    • Acknowledgments
    • About the author
    • Legal Stuff

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