Big Think has this video where Google's former ethicist Tristan Harris explains how advertising critically undermines independent thought. Google Home may be a good example of that.
So, why should we be questioning advertising? This is such a huge deal. Because advertising has, up until this point, propped up much of the tech industry's economy. It's been the cheapest and easiest way to grow and scale a business because you can always figure out new ways of getting attention, and you can find new ways of getting more money per eyeball that spends time with you.
But the costs of it are really just too big, because in a world where I've got your eyeball (and I'm Facebook) and I've got actually a billion of these eyeballs, and I'm asking, “Who wants to pay me the most to put a message in front of this eyeball?”, and in a world where I give that person personal information that would tell them exactly how to persuade this person (and they can persuade them with anything that they want because they know exactly, as for example, with companies like Cambridge Analytica which knew exactly how to persuade you politically), I would be enabling whoever wants to pay me the most to manipulate and influence this person's mind.
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