I don’t know how many of you are aware of this system they are calling the “Internet of Things“, but I think it’s very interesting to consider the number of “things” that are interconnected with or without human interaction now that we have so many devices online all the time. The book that I’m working on for NaNoWriMo considers the result of humans becoming a piece of the constantly connected puzzle. To some extent, we currently are, but it turns out that Facebook may be bringing about some of my thoughts before I can even finish my book.
In this article by Nick Heath, he goes over some very interesting information that has recently been outed by Facebook on the new AI program they’re creating. It turns out, they are working on making computers think like humans… sort of. The last section of the article is the part that concerns me, as I think it would most parents. Where will Facebook draw the line once its program is able to filter people better and determine the exact content those people would want to click on?
As of right now, because of the research that I do for other people and through some of my side work, Google ads has no clue what types of advertisements actually interest me, and which items I only looked at because I was looking for information for someone else (not shopping). Now, imagine if Google ads (which uses an algorithm designed based on your search history) got together with the Facebook AI that’s learning exactly what kind of person you are by studying the things you like, articles you block, and pictures you post? I fear I may go broke very quickly if those tailored ads become actually tailored towards me.
What’s worse, though, is the thought of those ads specifically targeting my children. Instead of my kids occasionally learning about some potentially cool video game from a YouTuber that happens to mention it, or from some friend of theirs who saw a commercial, once Google can start targeting my kids with advertisements they would really be interested in, their Christmas wish lists may end up a lot longer than, “I don’t know, something cool.”… Then again, knowing about really cool games long before Christmas may give my son incentive to bring up his grades.
Yeah, a virtual assistant who could really help might be cool, but the thought of an AI computer that can stalk me and my kids via social networking creeps me out.
What do you think? Are you concerned about this new technology or are you excited by it?