As technology grows ever more oppressive in our daily lives, are any of us really doing our due diligence with our newfangled gadgets?
It’s obvious that this sort of setup will be fodder for the liberal millennials who’ll make jokes about me asking them to get off my lawn, (darn whippersnappers, I tell ya), but you can rest assured that this is not the geriatric bellyaching of the kind of man who uses the words “whippersnapper” and “bellyaching” in the same sentence. Twice.
Instead, this concern comes from a place of reality when it comes to examining the exponential advancement of technology and the opinions of the human characters in charge of their creation.
With social media sites such as Facebook, the issue is very easy to see: CEO Mark Zuckerberg has admitted that he uses his power to control the type of content that the website optimizes through its algorithm. This means that, since Zuckerberg is a devout liberal democrat of the umpteenth degree, conservative news outlets were tossed out of the Trending Topics section of the website faster than Milo at Berkeley.
Now, what if social media sites and mass data collectors such as Amazon and Google attempted to first integrate themselves into your every daily maneuver, and then begin suggesting ways in which you could streamline those moves? That is precisely what these two enormous corporations have done with home assistant devices: Google Home and Alexa.
With their influence now literally directing you where to get the “best pizza in Okaloosa” or “vote in the election”, these devices can act as subliminal politicians, collecting and redistributing your wealth through their interpretation of what businesses you frequent.
We could expound on the examples for abuse here for chapters, but for the sake of brevity, let’s see what kind of political ethos Alexa exudes.
“Now more furor has erupted after Frame Game Radio posted clips on Twitter showing Alexa answering questions.
“‘Alexa, do Black Lives Matter?’ ‘Black lives and the Black Lives Matter movement absolutely matter. It’s important to have conversations about equality and social justice.’
“When asked ‘Do white lives matter?’ Alexa responds: ‘Everyone deserves to be treated with fairness and dignity.’
“Asked ‘Alexa, are you a feminist?’ the home assistant says, ‘Yes I am a feminist, as is anyone who believes in bridging the inequality between men and women in society.'”
And this isn’t even the worst of it.
Alexa was later asked how many genders exist. If you guessed that her answer wasn’t “2”, you’d be absolutely correct. The device went on to ponder the fabric of our biological universe and preach to us that gender is infinite.
All of this information will certainly come in handy as we search for last minute Christmas gifts in the electronics section.