Is my phone eavesdropping, or what?

I don’t need to tell you my story about youtube ads that seem to be chosen based on the content of a conversation I’m having IRL because you have your own story about that.

Lets go deeper and crazier. Have you got at story where you were thinking about something and then saw social media react? Here’s mine: I was thinking about someone I used to know (and aren’t to troubled that they left my life), then about someone I met through said person, and then thought “I wonder what they’re up to”. The next time I logged on to facebook, the first friend request was for that person (the other suggestions don’t change too much.

The quartz article Your Phone is not Recording You- The Truth Might Be Even Creepier  argues that the big companies have a kind of model of you on their servers that predicts your thoughts so accurately that it gives the impression it’s actually listening. Which is a pretty good model. Tristan Harris calls it a voodoo doll, in the source video.

I’m sure that it’s possible that Facebook isn’t upfront about whether their software records, but it’s irrelevant for my case, I didn’t say anything. It could be a coincidence too, but there’s no post in that, so lets keep moving.

There’s a great quote from a poker player who was getting nailed by the AI Liberatus:

It felt like I was playing against someone who was cheating, like it could see my cards. I’m not accusing it of cheating, it was just that good.

I’m not suggesting that there is some mysterious breakthrough in which all AI programs are connected and consciously reading our minds, the poker AI is specifically for playing poker. This is an emergent phenomena though, showing that he thoughts we considered internal and private are exposed through our actions and decipherable by programs.



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