In part 4 of “From ‘Content is King’ to Godlike“, we exposed how determinism, or at least, deterministic factors and tendencies expose free will for the myth it really is, or at least in the context of its colloquial usage. In this segment, we’ll look at the futuristic applications of artificial intelligence (AI) and the many tech antecedents, including the many algorithm applications that inform AI that makes this probable. But before we proceed, it’s worth reiterating what algorithms are designed to do:
- Solves problems in the most efficient way, that is, a way to accomplish a complex task quicker than any other way.
- A way to analyze data in a way that provides a degree of certainty or predictable outcomes. Note these predictions are not absolute but rather, probabilistic.
- A way to reason through a variety of data points toward the goal of sense-making.
Tackling the 99 percent of content that’s just sitting there.
Inferential search engines like Google are already quite capable of quickly indexing almost infinite quantities of content and data. But it’s also worth noting that what’s actually taking place in this indexing process is a variety of sorting algorithms “under the hood” that manifest in providing “on-the-fly” search results that answer the question, i.e., our search with high precision.
From there, the future of AI is really a plethora of algorithms stacked upon each other, and at other times, complex hierarchies that are invoked by the determinations made by other algorithms appearing further upstream.
Another way of looking at this, is not by algorithms per se, though they are, but rather, by metadata, and lots of it. It is the metadata and its juxtaposition with multi-algorithms that results is bizarre predictability. Some examples:
- You have been divorced for 2 to 3 years from your wife, and find yourself buying Bud Lite at the grocery store, probably not realizing that your purchase was prompted by AI ads for that very product. Welcome to the world of semi-spooky correlation.
- You purchased a car, not online, and find yourself buying a smartphone dashboard holder from an unsolicited email. Did marketers know that you bought a car, and its year in order to determine your need for said product? Answer: Indeed they did.
- Your 54 years old and should be at a stage in your life where you are preparing for retirement. But you are being served up ads to go back to school for a graduate degree? Why on earth would that be happening? Answer: Based on your online behavior, these handy algorithms, et al. have determined — there’s that word again — it is probable that you are in the market to go back to school, and here’s the kicker, even before you knew it.
And only more of this is in store for all our futures. Question is, is this a good thing or something much more sinister, which will be the topic of our next post.