✩ Want You To Know: Singularity Of Smarm

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It's been a while since I did a quick roundup of Facebook creepiness. As I don't use it I sometimes find it hard to keep up with its privacy-comprising endeavours and efforts.

With 'singularity of smarm', Leigh Alexander puts her finger on the unnerving nature of the march of this latest wave of technology. We don't really want to be on first name terms with the machines living in the Uncanny Valley. We probably shouldn't want them to have access to all the delicious data they want to slurp from our phones either, but they're going to keep trying that as well.

Less visible is the rise of machine learning, which broadly attempts to make lots of powerful machines replicate the way a human brain works. It's how Google is able to recognise things in your photos and much, much more. Also supremely creepy. Now that they've open-sourced parts of the code everyone will be able to get in on some of this creepy action.

According to Forrester Research, next year is when we'll reach some sort of tipping point for privacy concerns. Of course the data grabbers are well aware of this and working to mitigate any possible impact it may have on their bottom lines.

"If we are paying Google for a service, it turns us from users into customers and that means we can hold Google more accountable."

Is this really the best we can hope for? A smidgeon more accountability?

Meanwhile Facebook and Twitter are killing the open web. Of course, if that's news to you well then you haven't been paying attention. What is surprising is how quickly publishers capitulated to Facebook in particular, which now has a very firm grip on their traffic and seems to be approaching a situation where it can dial it up and down at will.

Worth Pondering


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Yours etc., @loughlin

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