My last blog was about the enigmatic algorithm that controls our life and is really one of the earliest forms of AI as we know it. However, has this form of AI already taken over?
When we think of Artificial Intelligence (AI) we think of a robot invasion, but the invasion might just be a little less complex than that.
How AI has Already Taken Over: Politics
Let’s talk for a moment about an election that will not soon be forgotten. Trump vs Hillary… the Donald vs the first lady… The reality TV star vs The person we knew was in charge when her husband was in office…..
This election was monumental in several different facets. The one we will be discussing is advertising. More specifically ONLINE advertising.
Online Algorithms and the Election
If you break down the numbers themselves Trump only outspent Hillary in one aspect. That was online advertising in the last 2 weeks of the election. Why is this important?
People are more impressionable closer to an event.
Now here is the kicker… ads on search engines and social media are served up based on YOU!
Why is all of this important?
Let’s look at the way an ad online works… you can enter a cost per keyword, have it location sensitive, and in the case of social media make it cater to a certain demographic. All of these can add up to be scary.
In theory, a politician could target someone based on interests, but they could also publish disparaging information about their opponent to demographics that may be more likely to vote a certain way.
YouTube is designed with one thing in mind… keep you watching. Why do they want you to keep watching? Because you watch more ads.
With that being said, it creates patterns. These viewing patterns are based on what you searched for… then what held your interest.
Now you go down the rabbit hole… where do you end up? Just look up Donald Trump. It will be mostly negative press about him. Watch one video… then the next… then the next… notice a change in tone. The negative drew you in, and then suddenly the tone is positive.
Then you log back in, and what happens? It suggests more videos of Donald Trump.
Probably the worst part of all of these algorithms is the potential for a bidding war over a premade popularity contest.
Think of it like this… you could go to google and bid on the keyword Andrew Tolbert, and be the first result no problem… change that to Drew Tolbert and what happens? The cost goes up. Why? Because of me… I am more popular. So let’s say that Kanye West decides to run against Dustin Diamond (Screech from Saved by the Bell).
Kanye is going to have to spend a lot more money for his keywords vs Dustin Diamond. So what does that mean?
With a budget of one million dollars, Dustin Diamond is potentially able to get twice the views of Kanye West due to the fact he was less popular in the beginning.
Now, what happens if he holds out on the bidding war and dumps all of his money in a short period of time? Everywhere you looked online you would see Dustin Diamond running for president… and that is how AI is controlling our elections.
Thanks for reading,