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Here’s how machine learning can violate your privacy

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By Jordan Awan
Image: iStock/metamorworks

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Directing advertising using AI (which is where the money is) doesn't actually work that well. It's a guessing game. It trips over atypical behaviour and cannot contextualise. It is also terrible at complex detail.

User submitted data actually works better.

You may already be doing this by storing your searches on ebay. Persistent search like this is one of those things that traditional search engines have failed at by simply not doing.

It can be expanded to cover any aspect of your life and lifestyle and become really useful for both directing ads to you, and for you, helping you find things you want when they launch.

With proper contextualisation options and a simple way of adding complex Boolean logic, you would effectively be programming persistent searches to tell advertisers exactly what you wanted to see as relevant adverts.

You could also add general lifestyle stuff (anything in this month's 'Vogue', anything David Beckham wears, anything in the latest Kdramas). It would take the directing of ads to a new level, and be really useful for consumers.

And of course, it would be entirely consensual. No data scraping in the background and no violation of privacy. Very little ML/AI required, so less processing and less eco hit. It would also be cheaper and more resilient. Data would not need to flow through a central server, so systems could be distributed.

The only reason we do it the way we do it at the moment, rather than the submission of data, is because a choice was made early on in the development of tech, and everyone has followed it - the herd mentality.

Anyone could flip to consensual submission, so rolling it out as a widescale service may be the next big thing in tech.

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