In computer science, black-box algorithms are the ones that provide an output to a given input but don't tell you how did obtain that output—you can't see how the machine works.
On the contrary, white box algorithms let you see what's inside. Browse their code, change it, and learn why and how they generate a given output.
Black boxes protect intellectual property, make it harder to hack programs1, and let companies monetize services by putting their services behind a paywall.
White boxes let the community contribute by collectively maintaining their code and adding new features.
Hackers often search for bugs in open-source code to exploit their vulnerabilities. ↩
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