In a few decades, the amount of information that will be collected from the public will be unimaginably high. A digital exhaust will be prevalent where ever we go. As the cost of adding computer chips to objects falls, energy meters, clothes, books, fridges, and facial expressions will all create data points. So will our public spaces, lampposts, storefronts, and traffic lights. A 70-year-old in 2069 will have had most of her life dependent on data.
This kind of Manipulation Will obviously require more powerful super computers running through various fields of random information to draw weird correlations between the data you create and what you like. These correlations will eventually make even less sense to us, creating new ethical problems.
The driving force behind this is a simple but powerful point: People do things, feel things, think things, and buy things for reasons they don’t understand. There is no truth anymore, the experts will say, only inputs and outputs.
Some theoretical examples:
- People aged 25 and 30 who eat burgers on Thursday and have a high average heart rate are more likely to be adrenaline junkies who enjoy…
- People who watched YouTube videos between 8 and 10 a.m. as teenagers and travel by public transit are more likely to be adventurists and…
The damages and dangerous effects that these Techniques might cause are most likely to be,
- Automated systems will generate insights about people based on their behavior and not because they’ve explicitly stated a preference. E.g.: – psycho-graphic techniques used by Cambridge Analytica in the recent data Scandal
- Facial expressions give away your innermost feelings. Therefore, emotional analysis techniques might be used, which will try to determine emotional states from images and video via facial expression analysis.
- Fitbit data, combined with data generated by your clothing, fridge, and smart meter, will determine when you are depressed.Hence, the required drugs will be prescribed by your doctor who didn’t have the idea to meet you voluntarily in the first place.
- Total personalization is most likely to happen. Any ads you receive through any device or any platform will be for you and you alone.
- There will be ad targeting so effective that you may well question the idea of free will altogether.
- Via complex analysis that no one will understand, taking in data from your fridge, smart car, work calendar, facial expressions, and toilet, your smart TV will fire off a personalized ad about buying that shiny new car just at the moment you’re starting to feel… well, in fact, you won’t know what the reason is. It won’t matter, either.
- Politicians will also pick up these techniques, which will present significant questions around manipulation and election legitimacy.
- People will complain that it’s unfair, illegal, creepy, a breach of privacy.
- There will, surely, be a continuous wave of tech-based countermeasures: Ex: – personalized Faraday Cages and facial recognition–blocking masks.
- There may even be a full-scale social rejection of these tracking technologies.
- There will also be a gigantic decision to be made on what to do with the data of the dead. It’s estimated that there will be more dead people than living ones on Facebook by 2065. “Should their data too effect the overall living population?” will be a question.
- The most significant change of all will be automation. The future is most likely going to be a fully automated ad creation and delivery system capable of reaching millions of consumers with personalized, dynamic content.
- Ad people will say something warm to people intentionally, wanting the people to understand the technology instinctively and the human touch, and no general strategy and creative direction will be set by the well-paid marketeers.
- A.I. experts say that there is a 50 percent chance of A.I. outperforming us in all tasks within 50 years.
- Meanwhile, it is also expected that there will be companies flooding in using natural language machine learning techniques, and their idea will be “Know your customers better than they know themselves”. Some advertisers are already experimenting with early prototypes.
- A dangerous consequence suggested as a result of these A.I manipulation techniques is, these methods will be used by the heads of the pharmaceutical companies to target their customers efficiently. E.g.: – You will be able to sell more antidepressants to someone if you catch them at a certain point in the week and use messages that play to low self-esteem.
- There will be a rise of the social media influencers who will post branded content that will appear more authentic, and this might also become more algorithmic and automated, perhaps leading to Nano-influencers getting automatically paid Nano-amounts whenever an algorithm spots them sharing brands with their small number of followers.
In the end, despite all the clustered innovation, correlation, and automation, we will still face the same problem we’ve always had: The more personal and more charming the profiling, the more effective the ads, which also creates greater opportunity to manipulate and control. When that’s powered by machines and algorithms that no one understands, the underlying tension won’t change — but the damages it might create to human consciousness will be unfathomable.