Are AI algorithms controlling us with self-fulfilling prophecies?

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Algorithms are prediction machines. They predict our behavior, so they can feed us media that we like, & more importantly for the media platform companies, show us what we would like to buy. But this process quickly becomes more than just prediction. The algorithms change what we see, which then influences our behavior. We begin to act more like what the algorithms predict, making them more accurate & effective, especially for the goal of changing our consumer habits. 

Art by Pawel Kuczynski

Early pioneers in the tech world had a grand vision of the Internet, that it would link individuals together in a community for the good of humanity. But the algorithms controlling our news and entertainment feeds appear to be pushing each of us into our own predictable consumer niche. There’s a paradox occurring, in which more global connection leads to more isolation. People rarely search the Internet to find diverse voices and views–they look for like-minded people that reflect the views they already have. Thus, the community becomes more and more fragmented into narrowly-defined tribes. Predictable tribes. Which makes marketing cheaper and easier.

Art by Pawel Kuczynski

Author of World Without Mind: The Existential Threat of Big Tech speaks about some of these issues in this video.

Being aware of this paradox is a 1st step in combatting it. We can still use technology for connection & improvement. Soft Power Skills Academy offers face-to-face online interaction with peers seeking to make meaningful change in their lives & the world. We co-create projects that put leadership & soft skill principles into practice. Join us at

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