One of the biggest problem we have in my generation: we don't consider the power we are giving away through our data. And we like and share too much. We don't think about the impact we have on algorithms, we don't understand them. So we are very passive. We don't experiment, manipulate and challenge it.
We are one of the last generations to face this problem, but it is a problem that will follow us until we die, and a problem our grandchildren are going to make fun of us for.
We aren't tech savvy enough, not informed enough about what big data is and how role it plays in the "information share" economy, so we are quick on the "swipe to agree to terms" buttons. And we aren't dumb. Far from it, we know that we are compromising our integrity, yet we''re too lazy to change the structure of the system.
Let me be clear. I don't think companies are evil. In fact I deal with big data of sensitive nature on daily basis. I can tell you that 1) your data is safe, 2) your data is most often made anonymous to both in-house scientists and third party candidates and 3) there are plenty of regulations as to who can use it and see it.
But I must admit, even though I thought that this Spotify ad was funny and creative, it was also a bit alarming and eye-opening.
Data is meant to help product owners and decision makers make better decisions based on the behaviour of the client base/patients, to make life easier for the end user, and to increase revenue. Not to make fun or single out the user.
Since we can't just create our own Spotify, we agree to the terms which clearly state; Spotify has the right to analyse and store your data. To what extent the comical ads are based on actual data is not something I'm familiar with. I truly hope it's made up for comical purposes.
But with a smartphone in each of our hands, and an app for everything from the pills we take to when we do our laundry, somewhere a data scientist knows more about you than your friends and family.
For example.: if I want full and good use of my period tracker, I have to log in with an ID. Sure, pseudo identities can be created with a temporary email adress etc. But how many people have the time or the energy to create an alternate ID for every app they have that stores data? How many individuals have filled in when they've had a good time with their partner on a period tracker app and thought: hey a data scientist somewhere is getting feedback of when I'm getting lucky. When I'm using a condom. When I'm in the mood. Not a lot I guess. But you should.
Data is currency and right now there is an immense inflation because it is consciously given away for free.
As a data scientist I am very enthusiastic about this phenomenon because it gives companies the opportunity to build an economy based on information while creating a large client base through free or relatively cheap apps. As a user, I am excited because I know that my data helps companies improve their services. And I can always refuse to provide data. But I won't because I am stuck in this data economy.
This phenomena however, ends with us. The more tech savvy our society gets, the less dependency we'll have on corporations that build apps to suit our self tracking needs. My two year old won't need Clue. She'll know how to customise her own period tracking app. Companies will have to find effective ways to BUY data. To engage people in to willing to invite a data scientist in to the bedroom or the medicine cabinet.
The revolution is near, and companies better prepare for a generation that values their data and integrity the way we're too lazy to do.
P.S. Please stop LIKING and SHARING. You won't win anything. Ask them for a discount every time you share,. DO IT!
As long as people have been together, people have been unfaithful. It is neither new or about to go anywhere any time soon.
After watching this talk, it made me think about my own perceptions about infidelity and where it might be heading.
And upon watching the show Westworld, it made me ponder even deeper where the line is drawn between fidelity and infidelity.
60 years ago, you could just tell by the fluctuations in your loved ones behavior to what extent their affections were somewehere else. A napkin, a lipstick on a collar, a fleeing smile for no reason.
Today, a phone left on a counter and a curious spouse can reveal a life time of deciet in one flow of messages.
At the rise of the 90's and the 00's we had to define infidelity in a new way. Emotional cheating and digital infidelity in form of videos and texting entered the market along with growing internet use.. We are coming closer to desciphering both within our selves and in our different communities what we think is ok, and not ok in a relationship. when it comes to online flirtations, even if we draw the lines very differently in each relationship.
But technology is moving fast. Very fast. And already now, we are having to descipher where the line of infidelity begins and ends. And just like with all things, there is no easy or correct answer.
To start off with, just like the show Westworld potrays, in time we will have Androids with very real and impactful cognitive processing. They will undoubtedly be used for pleasure. Let us say a man visits Westworld and sleeps with an Android. Was he unfaithful or did he just use a more advanced sex toy? What if his wife at home, has spent a romantic evening on the computer chatting to an AI program with a handsome avatar and then used a vibrator controlled by the AI. Was she less unfaithful, or more because there were feelings involved. The movie HER depicts a very realistic take on the problem of loneliness and the comforting voice of an AI that undoubtedly migh make us fall in love. Heck, there are times when I envy Siri, because she is more entrusted with my husband's eitinerery than I am!
Now you might say, that is 60 years ahead of time.
So let us talk about something a little closer to our time frame. What about teledildonics? What if your spouse uses a vibrator controlled by a stranger on the internet? Did she cheat?
What if you had sensory underwear and met with a stranger online, which could give sensory outputs through your underwear. Are you just enjoying an advanced pleasure stimulus or are you in a virtual reality affair?
And what if you're in a long distance realtionship, and the sensory output underwear is used by your boyfirends best friend instead of him without you knowing, is that punishable? Will it be?
It might be strange things to ponder over, but in a world where we're constatnly evolving the morals we choose to follow, we have to, if not on a communal level, amongst ourselves, discuss the legal and emotional pros and cons of what is to come . We are entering an area of 50 shades of gray, and I don't mean the poorly written sex novel, I mean the spectrum of the lines we will draw.
It is exciting. And I can't wait to see where we land on this issue., because I have absolutley no idea what I think and feel yet. Where do you draw the line?