(These are excerpts from my book "Intelligence is not Artificial")
Existential Intermezzo: You Are an Ad
We are surrounded by billboards, ads and commercials. Even the webpages that you visit on the Web depend on an algorithm of page-ranking whose behavior can be manipulated by expert professionals, so that you will visit the webpages that they want you to visit and not the ones that you would have visited using brain and luck. If you search for "Piero" with your favorite search engine, you are more likely to stay at an apartment complex in Los Angeles and eat at a restaurant in Las Vegas than read a page on my website, a website that has been around for 20 years, contains 10,000 pages of text, and is edited by a writer named Piero.
In the 1990s my website would show up as one of the top three results of a search for "Piero" on every search engine. I'll let you decide if the results that you get today are "better" than what you were getting 20 years ago. You have to thank progress in Artificial Intelligence for it.
Artificial Intelligence is making these ads more powerful, more targeted, more convincing, more inescapable.
Our lives are increasingly steered by the advertisement that surrounds (traps?) us.
What happens to us if (when) the ads stop?
Will we still able to live a life?
There might be a sinister new meaning for Eliot's famous line "You are the music while the music lasts" (T. S. Eliot, "The Dry Salvages", 1941)
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