Daniel Craig plays James Bond in the film Casino Royale. Dramatis, a computer program, can detect suspense from this scene and rates it even higher as the plot thickens. MGM/United Artists/Sony/The Kobal Collection hide caption

itoggle caption MGM/United Artists/Sony/The Kobal Collection

By clicking "Like" and commenting on Facebook posts, users signal the social network's algorithm that they care about something. That in turn helps influence what they see later. Algorithms like that happen all over the web — and the programs can reflect human biases. iStockphoto hide caption

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Ilana Kohn/Ikon Images/Getty Images

"Timescape" finds words in the news associated with Sept. 11, and weights them according to prominence in a story — not just how often they appear. Gaurav Bradoo hide caption

itoggle caption Gaurav Bradoo