We are not aware of how algorithms control our life

We ourselves can’t even imagine it. We believe that we control our life and our decisions but this is not the case, we are highly influenced by the “suggestions” presented by the algorithms that analyze the data of our behavior on social networks, on the Internet, etc.

Without realizing it, we all (the vast majority) have a smart phone and we connect to the Internet through it or a computer of any kind.

In that environment we find all kinds of information about what happens in the world, about the things that we are interested in buying and what we buy, about the lives of friends and acquaintances, etc …

In short, we do almost EVERYTHING online.

And everything we do is “registered”. It is the “data” that companies are so interested in because almost everything can be obtained from each of us.

In each Internet “environment” in which we move, we leave traces of some of our data, and companies sell the data to each other. With that they already earn money.

But also by grouping our data and using algorithms (these are powerful computer programs) they are able to know who we are, what we do and what we like, where we spend the money, etc … to suggest other “activities”. In short, to sell us “things”

Although we believe that we control what we do, it is “others” who suggest to us what things our friends are doing and what we could do. And make no mistake, we end up doing many things that are suggested to us, not to say that they dictate.

As an example, all you have to do is enter a music APP, and in no time the APP will tell you what your friends are listening to.

And the same happens if you are watching a movie by streaming, it shows you suggestions based on what it knows about you and knows that you like it.

After buying something, when you enter your email, offers of similar or compatible products to the one you have bought will be shown on the side.

And so it could go on almost infiniitely.

But for me the worst is in the world of “ideas”. Algorithms know how we are and think, and our political and other tastes, with what they show us the news that we like, and hide the others from us.

The people who receive their information through social networks, which according to estimates are more than 50% of the population, end up having information biased from reality.

With which it is understood the existence of many people increasingly radicalized, and who only listen to what they want to hear. And that is what they offer you, with which every day they are more hooked to a few information channels. With the advantage that this supposes for those channels.

With uninformed people, democracy is at risk and will become weaker and weaker, and it will be the “big interests” who run the show behind our backs.

Dear friends, the algorithms are going to continue there, and we must know our boundary conditions to try to think for ourselves.

This is increasingly difficult, but not impossible.

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Amador Palacios

I am an electronic engineer with more than 40 years working in industry. I like to reflect on Technological and Social issues