Based on your search history (and perhaps toolbar feedback if you have a Google Toolbar installed) Google will recommend related searches, related web pages, and related homepage gadgets. Right now here is what the interesting items for you module recommends for me:
For Google to be building technology to recommend all types of things I should be consuming you know that eventually that sort of technology is going to work to enhance what ads I see while searching and while on content sites. Thus, Google will be able to exploit for maximal profit potential whatever profitable flaws I may have in my identity (see the recent Bob Massa interview for more info on how that works).
What I find frightening about automation and creating maximally efficient ad networks is that inevitably they promote the businesses with the deepest pockets. Like corporate structures, capital is amoral, and you don't get the deepest pockets without doing some shady stuff. More often there is more money in deceiving people than in truly solving problems and helping people. Plus, as marketing continues to evolve, and it is easier to test and gain feedback, it will be easier to control people through instinctive predictable animal behaviors.
Psychology Today published an article about Why We Hate, which stated:
Researchers are discovering the extent to which xenophobia can be easilyâ€”even arbitrarilyâ€”turned on. In just hours, we can be conditioned to fear or discriminate against those who differ from ourselves by characteristics as superficial as eye color.
And, to me, that becomes frightening when I think about how I just played a video game for a few hours, and Microsoft bought a video game ad targeting company. It is even worse when you consider how much money the military spends on marketing, and that they use their own high end shoot em up video games and pizza parties as recruitment devices on 13 year old children.
What really concerns me about Google (and others) continually improving social recommending engines is that they may make it harder to realize our own prejudices.
The guilt of mistaking individuals for their group stereotypeâ€”such as falsely believing an Arab is a terroristâ€”can lead to the breakdown of the belief in that stereotype. Unfortunately, such stereotypes are reinforced so often that they can become ingrained. It is difficult to escape conventional wisdom and treat all people as individuals, rather than members of a group.
How long until machines know us better than other people do? Are you comfortable with a profit agenda driven machine making life suggestions for you based on your categories and flaws? How much will we let a machine's interpretation of conventional wisdom make choices for us?
How long until there is a Luddite backlash? And should I register LudditeMarketing.com so I am ahead of the curve?
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