This WSJ book review on "The Tyranny of Algorithms" (link) is well worth reading for those interested in how computer algorithms are used in business and government. I agree with most of what this author has to say.
There is an elephant in the room whenever it comes to discussing computer algorithms, particularly highly automated ones. Almost all such algorithms are inaccurate. They are inaccurate for many reasons, the most important of which is that human behavior is fickle. The inaccuracy could be shockingly high. Take an algorithm that tries to predict what banner ad you would click on. It would not be surprising that the algorithm will direct a million ads to be displayed, and only 30 clicks would be obtained. This outcome will be extremely exciting to the person who designed the algorithm because without the algorithm, there would only be 10 clicks. So the algorithm tripled the click rate. That's the glass-half-full view that is out there. The glass-half-empty view is that close to a million wrong decisions are ignored while we celebrate 20 right ones.
This more introspective point of view is also missing from the WSJ piece.