The creepy TikTok algorithm doesn’t know you

It’s true universally accepted that the “algorithm” knows you better than you know yourself. A computer can supposedly predict whether you will resign or break up with your partner. With 1,000 words you have written, it can determine your age within four years. And no algorithm seems closer to omniscience than TikTok, which supposedly helps users discover their sexuality and they unpack their childhood trauma. While Facebook asks you to set up a profile and hand over a treasure trove of personal information in the process, TikTok is simple notices—Or it seems. The results can be magical, writes Jess Joho in Mashable, as if TikTok “reads your soul as a kind of divine digital prophecy, stretching open layers of your being that your conscious mind did not know before.

As always, there is a dark side. Most users will be involved WitchTok and gardening guidelines, but others will end up on an endless list of ADHD, Tourette’s syndrome, or autism (#mentalhealth, for example, garnered nearly 21 billion views — the #dance portion, which has 341 billion views but still a significant display) . This information can be extremely liberating, especially for conditions that are usually shrouded in stigma. But some are concerned about the respect given to the platform pseudo-psychiatric content. “Once [the algorithm] puts you aside, keeps you there, ”says psychology professor Inna Kanevsky, better known on TikTok as debunking @dr_inna, “and it starts to look like you’ve been diagnosed.” It is potentially a life-changing takeaway, and is offered by a profit algorithm and content creators of varying reliability.

But the debate on self-diagnosis is only a small part of the way we position TikTok and similar algorithms not as mere machines for generating predictions, but as those that create insight. While recommendation algorithms from Amazon to Netflix are designed to guess what you’d like to see next, TikTok can feel like it shows you who you’ve always been. In the process, we open ourselves to danger and promise. “switching self-awareness to AI. ” While this new attitude toward computing may offer new opportunities for personal growth, it has also begun to place us in increasingly rigid identities.

The human mind for thousands of years he has been trying to understand himself through technological metaphors, writes artificial intelligence expert George Zarkadakis in his 2016 book. In our own image. In the Roman Empire, for example, the success of hydraulic engineering led to the understanding of human intelligence as a stream of four “humors”. Now we describe the brain as a computer– just one of so many machines that “store” and “retrieve” memories and “process information”. While all these metaphors remain deeply wrong, the close collaboration of human neuroscience and computer science has revealed some intriguing similarities between our minds and our machines.

Like any algorithm, TikTok’s divination properties are just the end result of a series of repeated steps. When someone creates a new account, the algorithm targets it with a variety of popular videos designed to test their response to broad categories of content, from viral dances to home repairs, according to recently Wall Street Journal investigations. When the newspaper released more than 100 bots on TikTok, the “rabbit hole” of the platform included pre-programmed interests of each bot in less than two hours.

It’s pretty simple math, but it’s also an unusual imitation of statistical learning, he says John Bargh, Professor of Psychology and Cognitive Sciences at Yale University. This is one of the ways in which the human mind unconsciously acquires new knowledge – simply by noticing patterns in the world around it. Like the TikTok algorithm, people are constantly learning, often without even realizing it.

In other words, it is a process that takes place mostly without someone’s conscious awareness, and yet it is completely determined by what catches your attention.

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