Will Big Data Take Our Autonomy?

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“…data can predict not just which shirt you might be willing to buy, but which topics are so emotionally charged you cannot look away from them — and which pieces of propaganda will work best upon you. And that makes the platforms that collect data at scale an amazing way to influence human beings.” — Technology Journalist Jacob Ward

AI ability to predict & influence human behavior may be the biggest change & challenge to humans in the 21stcentury. In this article, “Why data, not privacy, is the real danger,” Ward argues that concerns about protecting private information are trivial compared to what media platforms do with Big Data. He says “your data — the abstract portrait of who you are…compared to other people — is your real vulnerability…. Not because your data will compromise your personal identity. But because it will compromise your personal autonomy.”

Can we keep our autonomy in this Brave New World? 

Is being aware of the problem enough to guard our freedom of choice?

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