I, Google Bot
I’m going to assume you’ve already seen the app that predicts what you would say based on the past statuses you have posted. I assume because if your friends are anything like my friends, they have been using almost exclusively to make Facebook posts for the past few weeks, having fully embraced their technological robot overlord versions of themselves. Your friends and my friends are totally in luck too, because Google is developing an algorithm that will predict how you react to social media, and do it for you. So you can spend more time playing candy crush, or uh, whatever.
The new patented ‘social media helper’ is not just a jokey status generator either, although after reading more about it, I almost wish it were. The algorithm will not only be able to post status updates and send tweets – it claims it will be able to reply to your direct messages.
As the service has not been completely developed yet, it of course remains to be seen if the service sounds human let alone sounds anything like you, but that is another matter entirely. What really gives me the creepy crawlies about this service is how likely it is we are to embrace its’ use. Heck, I can see myself using this for Twitter and that alternately scares me and intrigues me.
What would Google-generated me sound like? Would I pitch ads based on my Google related searches, which in turn would make me sound totally creepy? Would I seem to care about the things I care about? How deep does this rabbit hole go?
I make a lot of jokes about being plugged in and robot overlords, and I know that I flutter back and forth between the two. I also know that social media is a tool most of us often. The work day has changed shape, workers are representations of their company and their brand. This puts us in a place where we need to keep a connection and keep people interested.
The weird thing about this is my brand is ‘me’. Like, real me. Is it still me if I get a robot who in theory is basically as good as I am, but more efficient, to speak for me? And the terrifying thought: what if the robot is better?
The algorithm we use on Facebook is quirky, funny and doesn’t always generate sentences that make sense. When it pulls it off at all, it is a funny, almost film noir overdramatic version of us. It’s great because it allows us to poke fun at what we have been.
But like all things, it is important to be wary about what you are being exposed to. Let’s not turn into frogs that boil in the water as it slowly heats up. Let’s be smart about what we’re using. As Laura-bot once said on Facebook, “They are playing at unplanned napping.” Or uh, whatever.
Image source: www.ppchero.com