It’s not news anymore that we’re living in a world driven by algorithms. Artificial Intelligence is not just around the corner, it’s ever present in a society where technology is mainstream. Today, you can let your fridge shop for your groceries, you can switch the lights through voice commands, and almost everything can be fully automated. But as we go through this generation I’m still puzzled why people are still puzzled by smart technologies.
From cognitive science to computational thinking and machine learning, all of the choices we make in the digital world are being kept and studied. Our digital footprints are being calculated to predict what kind of lifestyle we want, what choices we want to make, and what we’d prefer to see day to day.
In this typical consumer world, we gauge our decisions on which things we like the most and which things we’re not really fond of. With all the flavourful choices and free one day delivery for prime members, who wouldn’t opt in for a fast and less hassle service? No wonder Jeff Bezos is the richest man in the world; His tech giant company Amazon leverage all the new and rich technology and put it into work. Amazon is the best example how our choices are being studied through statistical and machine learning. As an example, when you order a book from Amazon, the next time you log in you’ll get a recommendation “since you bough this, you might like this“. These are the obvious and simple things of how it affect our choices
Here`s a view on how our decisions are being calculated at the “back end”
Source: Kearn, M. (2016 March 1).”Machine Learning is for Muggles too!” https://blogs.msdn.microsoft.com/martinkearn/2016/03/01/machine-learning-is-for-muggles-too/
But how about a random search in search engines or Google? Or just going through your feeds in Facebook or Instagram? Have you heard of disabling your microphone so your conversation will not be tracked. It is not a myth, it is something that has been going on for awhile now. Wonder why you were just talking about that trip to Lima, Peru over dinner with a friend and suddenly there are some ads on some of your apps that links you to Peru tourism? You can read the New York times story about microphone usage. And there’s also an article published by FTC (Federal Trade Commission) regarding app developers ethical programming.
CHOICES WE MAKE
It’s early in the morning and you want to read your daily news (may it be local or global), you search through your digital news media, clicked into the most interesting post you find and read through it. You’ll get too interested on the topic and search it through Google, and there you find more news related to it. You read it once again. The next day you do the same. For every click and view you make, your choices are being tagged. You were given a set of data, from there you made your choice. It will be processed and will be part of iteration/procedure of machine learning code-basically sifting through what are the tags that relate to your past choices. Then a fresh and new set of data are presented to you. It will go on and on, new tag, new model, new filter, new batch of data.
So, I’ll leave you with this, your feed in all social media, digital news media etc. is how you see the world. Your search will filter you and hone you to your liking. The news that will comes up in your searches are based on your own bias and how you view your life. Your thoughts, your thinking, your choices are the things you live by day to day. You’re part of the digital world and removing your digital footprint is difficult because it will be from the time you joined the digital world. Trying to make the machine unlearn you is tough but doable so make smart choices!