For class, I read “Rise of Machine Agency: A Framework for Studying the Psychology of Human–AI Interaction (HAII)”. The article discusses how machine learning has made algorithms and communication experiences very sophisticated. A quote that stood out to me was “While users appreciate—indeed welcome—the convenience of machines serving them, they are hesitant to cede decision-making control to them.”
I definitely have experienced times when personalization crosses the line. We used to have an Amazon Alexa in our house, and I did not like it at all. Alexa would listen and randomly turn on which was weird, but one thing I noticed multiple times was that we would start getting ads for things that we talked about. I remember I mentioned to my mom that I liked a certain pair of shoes, and both of us immediately got ads for the shoes. I don’t know Amazon’s algorithm, clearly it is highly sophisticated, but it definitely crosses a line. We got rid of our Alexa after this happened a few times, and I believe the “spooky” factor that Alexa has alienates some customers like myself. Although not everyone feels this way, it definitely freaked me out to think about AI listening to everything I say in my home.
The article mentioned the rise of technology like VPNs and incognito mode due to these privacy issues. I think this is a technology that is going to grow tremendously, as people do not want to feel like they are being watched at all times. It can be unsettling when you feel monitored, and privacy is something that many people value. I definitely can see these technologies growing as algorithms become more sophisticated and “spooky”.