As a father of the world’s most energetic two and a half year old, I’m tired. As an engineer, futurist, and technologist, I’m scared for my daughter.
The reason I’m scared for her is because Artificial Intelligence, or just AI for short, is being used in many places it has no right being. One such place is sorting job applications. AI softwares are being fed backgrounds of current successful workers at companies in the hopes of finding better “matches” for jobs. Of course, if there were biases or discrimination in the original hiring, there will be when the AI finds the patterns of the candidates all being male. Or white. Or from a specific school.
These past discriminations aren’t where things will stop. Google collects mounds of data about you and your child, which it sells to bidders. What happens when all the search data is sold to a company for it’s current employees, so that new applicants can be better found based on what they search?
A new form of discrimination. That’s what.
The problem is even innocuous data will be something that might be used against you in the future without you knowing. What happens when the AI says that people who were fans of Power Rangers as kids generally make terrible sales reps, and you were the biggest fan as confirmed by your search history. It also turns out, you’re a great sales rep too, but the software says that’s only 35% likely, so the hiring manager wants to go with a better certainty.
Can you imagine your child never being able to find a job because the searched for the wrong subject once and the AI found patterns with others who had searched that and had negative correlations with it?
Wouldn’t it be better to have minimal or no history that is capable of being found, rather than the wrong search history?
One way to protect your child is to use a search engine like DuckDuckGo as opposed to Google. It doesn’t track your searches, and when sites like YouTube, who do track your searches are linked, it warns you as much.
We’re in the era of surveillance capitalism. Tons of people are out to track you and sell your data. For a decade or so now, the common refrain has been, “If you’ve got nothing to hide, what’s the problem?”
The problem is no one should be discriminated against based on their profile of searches. Time to do some damage control on yourself, and protect your child. Switch your search to DuckDuckGo.com, you won’t miss Google at all.