Filter Bubbles

This week in class we watched a video from TED of Eli Pariser talking about “filter bubbles”. I think this video was very interesting, and Eli has some very good points. I think the Internet is reaching a point where we can actually say with some truth that “Skynet is real”. Not that it is going to take over and become a real thinking machine and kill all mankind like in the Terminator movies, but the Internet is a scary place now. The fact that it can determine what we will like more of when we search for something based upon our browsing history, where we live, what kind of computer we use, etc, is crazy and nerve-wracking.

Eli’s talk was very informative and eye-opening. I learned a lot of things I didn’t know, like how Google uses your previous Internet activity and location to filter your web searches and give you results that may most appeal to you based on what it has “learned” about you. I think that filter bubbles can be a dangerous thing, because they limit the search that we are looking for. Just because Google, Facebook, or whatever site we’re using, may think we want to see certain things, we may not want those at all, and want to see what it is hiding from us.

It’s very interesting to see how far the Internet has come since ten years ago, in such a short time. I still remember waiting for dial up when I was younger and when Google and YouTube had just started. The Internet is growing every day, and I’m very curious to see where the Internet and this subject will be in the next five and ten years, and even further, and the effect it will have on our children.

Watch Eli’s speech here:

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