Artificial intelligence (AI) is the next big thing. What is that exactly? An algorithm that starts to make decisions for itself based on previous information. It is akin to gathering experience to build a decision making library except that AI is programmed with an intention from the start and that is what must be known.
Algorithms control everything we see or hear, at least at first. Take these two search engines as a comparison, Google and DuckDuckGo. A browse for ‘Syria’ and a scan of images reveals the differences:
The image on your left (the first one) is from DuckDuckGo. It is full of maps and geography, something you might expect for doing pure research. Google on the right does something curious. It has generated images of war and strife from various news sources. The two are quite different.
Here is A TED video from Eli Pariser explaining filter bubbles and why we need to know how they work.
AI decides for you what you see and what gets edited out when you search the web. It mainly looks at what you click on first and you get a skewed view of what the world might look like through the web when you think you are seeing an unbias picture. The best scenario would be that you get a balanced diet of information that allows you to learn and decide for yourself. AI has become the gatekeeper without allowing other points of view and this can isolate and divide.
As Pariser states, democracy cannot be without seeing the whole picture. There is a needed sense of responsibility to allow for human interpretation that allows for different perspectives.