Studies have shown that at least 2.3 billion people use Facebook daily. The statistics have hardly changed in spite of the company facing major accusations in 2018 regarding the privacy of its user’s data. Moreover, Facebook’s former VP of User Growth has publicly said he doesn’t allow his children on Facebook. He has accused the LIKE function on Facebook for manipulating user’s psychological weaknesses for what he calls quick rewards.
AIs and Search Engines Relationship
Products like these exist today thanks to technologies that accommodate AI algorithms and big data. Business models have in turn been created that rely on these AI algorithms. Amazon is one of the companies that use algorithms for personal recommendations which are based on browser history and purchases. The data created in turn helps the company increase sales.
Uber, a taxi company, uses the same AI model to estimate arrival time and traffic condition to determine fare base. Google search engines are AI algorithms tuned to determine page rankings and generate income via their advertising systems. Of course, the new systems wouldn’t exist if AI didn’t.
Humans don’t know the extent to which they rely on other humans to make decisions. How often have you read and watched product reviews before making a purchase? Robert Epstein, a psychologist at the American Institute of behavioral research and technology, conducted a study on the subject.
He experimented 661 Americans who were unfamiliar to Australian politics. He subjected his respondent to search engine results of two candidates. The results? When the ratio of negative to positive suggestions was changed, approximately 80% of undecided voter preference was swayed.
It’s incredible to think that the experiment could be used in real life. It actually did in the US presidential elections. Google was on one side accused of altering candidate autocomplete suggestions in their search engines. The altering was in favor of Hillary Clinton. On the other hand, Bing and Yahoo search engines were in disapproval of Hillary Clinton with search engines suggestions aiming to damage her reputation.
The Threat To AI Democratization
Now think hard about this. The fact that giant tech companies are altering our search results and the contents we see means we are no longer in control. It is a big threat to AI democratization and our democracy as well. A fundamental change to these models could reduce the risk of centralized AIs.
The need for AI democratization has never been greater than it is today. There is no doubt that AI has enormous potential. It has the power to bind or free us from suffering. Currently, studies have proven that it is leading us to a centralized system, one concentrated on money and power.
Blockchain; The Solution
But beyond, blockchain is the solution. It allows direct transactions between parties without the need for intermediaries like Google or Facebook. Individuals interact freely and in a more secure and decentralized manner. Several projects fostering AI democratization are on the making. SingularityNet and cortex are among the ongoing projects seeking the democratization of AIs.
Meanwhile, we are stuck on with centralized entities which manipulate and collect data at their convenience and without our consent. But we are just at the beginning of the beginning of something great. Hard work will be needed in the blockchain revolution, but ultimately, AI democratization will be one of the fruits we’ll enjoy.