Make it stop…pllllease!
The machines are taking over. And I’m not just talking about all the personal gadgets that are so ubiquitous at this point in the 21st century – most of which, as we’ve reported, are distracting us to the point of paralysis. Maybe even intellectual rigor mortis. Rather, I’m referring to this whole reliance on data and computer algorithms thing, in order to set up roadmaps, of sorts, for how to lead our lives.
Algorithms are essential to how computers perform, of course. However, these days it’s algorithms this, algorithms that. Everything’s an algorithm now – especially in the world of marketing, where they often lead to laughable results like this one for Amazon.
Or this one . The story that last link points to was written over a year ago. And now, there’s more to it. As we predicted, “automated content” today is being generated beyond the sports world. In fact, companies like Forbes, and dozens of others , are using robot stories . Narrative Science, the main outfit behind what I like to call the “writing simulator,” says that it “has developed a technology solution that creates rich narrative content from data. Narratives are seamlessly created from structured data sources and can be fully customized to fit a customer’s voice, style and tone. Stories are created in multiple formats, including long form stories, headlines, Tweets and industry reports with graphical visualizations.”
Fantabulous. I guess we’re one step closer to this…
Look, I’m no Luddite (unlike a certain J. Franzen.) I like – even love – technology…the wonders of the “hierarchy of angels,” as the late, great Joseph Campbell put it. Case in point, I write for an eBook company. But, before we fully embrace the idea of data, algorithms and machines substituting human consciousness, we should use something a bit more organic, like our brains, to consider the implications.
As always…just sayin’.