WIRED op-ed writer Katie O’Neill tweeted last week, somewhat in jest:
Me 10 years ago: probably would have played along with the profile picture aging meme going around on Facebook and Instagram
Me now: ponders how all this data could be mined to train facial recognition algorithms on age progression and age recognition
— Kate O'Neill (@kateo) January 12, 2019
In the article this conversation spawned, she unpacks the hypothetical that any mindless data we share (as part of this week’s viral sensation, or any other future social media trend) could unknowingly feed technologies behind the scenes. Exploring the implications of facial recognition technology, particularly for age progression, is a fascinating (and somewhat horrifying) thought experiment. And while FB insists that nothing of the sort is happening, the reaction to O’Neill’s tweet signals the growing overall awareness (and wariness) towards big tech – and the healthy dose of skepticism that people are beginning to direct towards the platforms they use every day.
WHY IT’S HOT:
It’s not a question of that FB could do what O’Neill writes, but more a matter of users’ awareness and attention to the use of their personal content, information, and likeness across all channels. O’Neill summarizes: “Humans are the connective link between the physical and digital worlds. Human interactions are the majority of what makes the Internet of Things interesting. Our data is the fuel that makes businesses smarter and more profitable.
We should demand that businesses treat our data with due respect, by all means. But we also need to treat our own data with respect.”
SOURCE: WIRED https://www.wired.com/story/facebook-10-year-meme-challenge/