How algorithms are controlling our live’s:
- Wikipedia states that an algorithm “is a step-by-step procedure for calculations. Algorithms are used for calculation, data processing, and automated reasoning.” Whether you are aware of it or not, algorithms are becoming a ubiquitous part of our lives.
- We can see them at work in the world. We all know they’re shaping outcomes all around us. But most of us have no idea what they are or how we’re being influenced and manipulated. Algorithms are invisible pieces of code that tell a computer how to accomplish a specialised task.
- Think of it as a recipe of an Indian curry, An algorithm tells the computer what to do in order to generate a certain outcome. Every time you do a Google search or look at your Twitter or a Facebook feed or use GPS navigation in your car, you’re always interacting with an algorithm unknowingly.
- Google Maps decides which way to you are used to go office in the morning and which way you come back home in the evening or which way you go if it’s a traffic jam. Matrimonial sites also now use algorithms based on people’s profiles searches the matches are shown. Say you are searching for a washing machines and your Amazon App is open, the related item offers are shown.
Algorithm’s on social media platforms:
- I have currently have 2019 Facebook friends and I can hardly believe even if 100 of my friends who actually view my post. Why not the rest? The danger with these algorithms is that they can affect our shopping habits, eating habits, shift power centres, division of society and unhappiness.
- Depending on your interests and what type of content you like, each social media platform will decide what’s on your timeline. So, your timeline is like you well (Like a frog in the well). Not the same whole world, these are social media sites whose well-being is made up of the illusion of the same world.
- You will have to advertise in order to reach your full capacity of your own friends list, forget about rest of the social media audiences.
- Social Media platforms will push their content in the form of sponsored posts based on your searches.
Human vs machine driven economy:
- Algorithms are used in automation for many jobs, , but they stand to take over many other careers, see the classic example of bots replacing customer support executives.
- Every time you design a system optimised for productivity or profitability it dehumanises the workforce and when we remove the humanity from a system where people are included, they become vulnerable.
- With the rise of the algorithm, humans will be replaced by machines/computers for many jobs/tasks, and imagine what could be the fate of Man?”. While experts continue to argue that the algorithms are not in control; people create and adjust them.
Checks and balances:
- Algorithms are exceptionally consistent. They never tired, and they are undeniably precise. The problem is that algorithms don’t understand context or tone. They don’t understand emotion and empathy in the way that humans do.
- Although algorithms are used in globally and few of them impact society, there is no legal recourse or official authority to hold a company responsible for the deeds of its algorithms.
- Algorithms themselves are patentable objects. Many corporations choose to patent their algorithms, but patenting requires disclosing it and so lots of other corporations decide to protect their algorithms as trade secrets, which are basically just things you don’t tell anybody.
- Public and government are beginning to realise the dangers and complexity of algorithms and there fore its utmost need for proper checks and balances in the way the algorithms are used.
Few tips on how algorithms work on social media:
- a) Average time spent on the content
- b) When its posted
- c) Engagement
- d) Story type
- e) Completeness of the page profile
- f) How informative the post is
- g) Interest – If users have interacted with similar content/users in the past
- h) Timeliness – The age of a post is a relevant factor in how high Instagram will show it in user feeds
- i) Relationship – How much a user has engaged with your profile, via in-stream or messages, previously
- j) Engagement – Retweets, likes and replies on individual tweets
- k) The tweet’s author and relationship – How much a user has interacted with the tweet author in the past
- l) Your presence – How often you use Twitter, and how much engagement you receive