Looking outside it’s unlikely that you’ll see a terminator like robot walking the streets. Yet, when I say that robots already rule the world, I truly mean it. Robots have a greater influence over our daily lives than many of our closest friends or strongest beliefs. This is due entirely to algorithms.
This influence is significant but overlooked because it’s of our own creation and not some alien threat.
Most robots in this world aren’t physical, but software algorithms. Little non-physical robots that live in computers, made to analyze and manage data.
A very important job considering that we now have more data than any human could ever sort through themselves. Because of this we’ve made algorithms to sort search results, filter videos, show important (or not) topics, suggest interesting articles. They set prices, buy and sell stocks, and pretty much anything that involves sorting information.
An algorithm was the reason you’re reading this post. They control the market and the media. How these little robots are made is very complicated, but they’re generally always trying to optimize some value. Engagement, attentiveness, advertising, margins, PROFIT. like most robots they’re good at what they do, and only what they do. If told to increase engagement they may do so by being divisive and engaging people by creating arguments. (cough cough, Facebook)
Staying In Control Of The Robots
Algorithms aren’t going anywhere as they’re simply too useful. A world without Google would be a worse one, however it’s important to understand the nature of these robots. We interact with them every time we use the little computer in our pocket without much thought.
Robots will still, only do what we build them to do, (For now) but that doesn’t mean that they don’t already rule the world. They have the power to greatly help or harm it.
The responsibility still lies with us to ensure that algorithms are being used to increase happiness and not simply profit. Understanding what the platforms we use are doing is incredibly important. We have to emphasize technological literacy if we’re to remain in control of our own opinions moving toward the future. Robot’s needn’t be sentient to control us.
I’ll have more posts about AI and Algorithms in the future so check back often. In the mean time check out this post about mind-machine Interfaces
One of the main reasons I started a blog is because it allows me an oasis away from the algorithms. On this website I have complete control of the content and how it’s presented. If you think having a place to learn about technology without algorithms fiddling with it is valuable, please consider supporting me on Patreon