"I'm leaving Facebook for good" I said yesterday night.
I don't know for you but I'm getting increasingly uneasy with the power that Facebook has. Both now and in the future. Do you feel completely at ease with Facebook?
Recent events regarding Cambridge Analytica, made me pause and look deeper into what are the dangers associated with using Facebook, AI and optimization algorithms...and now the Cambridge Analytica debacle is the least of my worries...there is something wrong with where this train is going.
If you still have a Facebook account and you agree with the content of this series, PLEASE share it with your friends or groups that you belong to.
Can Facebook Alter Our Perception Of Reality?
It's only a matter of time before it will completely master the craft. This tweet thread done by Francois Chollet, a deep learning AI specialist at Google, truly captures how true and dangerous our use of Facebook is becoming.
Facebook has proven that it can alter our moods as far back as 4 years ago. Mind you, that was 4 years ago, they've been optimizing since then.
Let me break down how it works...
Facebook Algorithms Control The Information You Consume
If Facebook gets to decide, over the span of many years, which news you will see (real or fake), whose political status updates you’ll see, and who will see yours, then Facebook is in effect in control of your political beliefs and your worldview.
Facebook has the power to, over time, change your "diet" of information in a way that can literally change your worldview. Politics, economics, social justice and even religious beliefs...they can all be influenced by a series of "touch points" and a steady diet of just the right information.
Add to that psycho-graphic profiling on the Big 5 Traits personality scale and you have a way to quantify the effect as well as knowing what kind of information will influence you the most.
As Francois Chollet states:
A loop in which you observe the current state of your targets and keep tuning what information you feed them, until you start observing the opinions and behaviors you wanted to see.
The diet as well as the profiling can then be infinitely optimized to get the desired result via artificial intelligence...and voila, you've got the greatest mass mind control mechanism available to man.
Facebook AI Controls Social Cues
We form our personality by interacting with other people and ideas. What if Facebook, through it's algorithm decides for you who will give you your social cues?
Let's say that you share a post about a "controversial" topic on Facebook. What if Facebook tilts the conversation by showing your shared post to people who would negatively react to your article?
Overtime, you would come to either silence yourself both online and offline about such topic or even consider changing your opinion altogether. This seems to especially affect women since they tend to rate much higher on the "Agreeableness" dimension of the big 5 traits. People who are high in agreeableness tend to prefer social cohesion than creating conflict by standing their grounds on political or religious issues.
Conclusion of Part 1
If that doesn't send a chill down your spine, I don't know what would. People who design those algorithms have biases that they, consciously or unconsciously, embed within the algorithms that curate your Facebook Newsfeed.
Stay tuned for the second part where I will outline more information on how and why I'm leaving Facebook for good.
PS: In the meanwhile, consider joining busy.org...voting with your attention and time is part of the solution.