I’ve said so much stuff about this already but frankly “Overzealous PR?” is total laughable crap! I actually laughed quite a lot when I heard this. Its very clear they were involved (to one degree or not) and like a kid with their finger in the cookie jar, they got caught.
I’ve been studying this area for a long while; when I talk about perceptive media people always ask how this would work for news? I mean manipulate of feelings and what you see, can be used for good and obviously for very bad! Dare I say those words… Fake news?
Its always given me a slightly unsure feeling to be fair but there is a lot I see which gives me that feeling. In my heart of hearts, I kinda wish it wasn’t possible but wishing it so, won’t make it so.
It was Si lumb who first connected me with the facts behind the theory of what a system like perceptive media could be ultimately capable of. Its funny because many people laughed when I first talked about working with perceptiv whose mobile app under pinned the data source for visual perceptive media; I mean how can it build a profile about who I was in minutes from my music collection?
I was skeptical of course but the question always lingered. With enough data in a short time frame, could you know enough about someone to gage their general personality? And of course change the media they are consuming to reflect, reject or even nudge?
According to what I’ve read and seen in the following pieces about Cambridge analytics, the answer is yes! I included some key quotes I found interesting
A while back I wrote a blog about how implicit data is the dark matter to the explicit. I also write about it in my wired/tired/expired post.
Well I thought its about time I started writing why the implicit is so rich and may become the dominating model in the future. Of course if you know anything about me and the BBC R&D project Perceptive Media, I have an interest in this area, I actually talked about context before but didn’t really make it clear that context is a part of the implicit dataset.
Yes I said it… The end of advertising… (which isn’t the same as the end of marketing btw)
Most people now prefer targeted advertising than wholesale advertising but hate the idea of minority report’s advertising nightmare. What was missing was the context.
Duhhh… In the future, surely a smart advert wouldn’t show tom cruise cars and expensive gifts while he was running down the shopping centre trying to escape. Yes it sounds pretty dumb when you add the context to the scene. Maybe showing Tom visions of holidays and trainers would make much more sense.
The end of advertising might seem a little premature but look at Google now. Then imagine Google now serving up adverts instead…
Double Duhhh… of course Google will be using the same algorithm to serve adverts if it can be proven to be even a slight bit more effective.
Although its far from perfect, the fact is with enough data and a insight into your context and implicit motivations. Google really can start to serve up adverts for things I want before I realise I actually want it (sounds freakish but its already happening). And if that fills you with fear, you better get ready as its not easily stopped. This might rely on the likes of our government not being greedy and short sighted, actually reflect the good of the people who put them there.
I’m thinking about a future where its too expensive and too inefficient to do the mass/wholesale advertising…A future where adblockers and VRM – Vendor Relationship Management is the norm, people pay to never see the adverts not targeted at you. Yes a bit of a dream but you got to dream a little bigger darling.
I have been using the term, Micro Data which is a specific part of the Big Data puzzle. Micro data is the implicit data, the data which is personal and we generate all the time. Its that Microdata which will power the next generation of services, apps and products. You can clearly see why I’m at the Quantified Self conference…
Almost everything we’ve focused on recently has been the explicit actions and feedback of people. But as pointed out in Perceptive Media, the rich stuff is the implicit actions and feedback. This is also the stuff which advertisers would cream in their pants for… And it sometimes feels too intimate for us to ever let it be collected… However that has never stopped anyone.
This obviously scares a lot of people including myself but I think the future is about the implicit.
I wrote a blog following a audio piece about how 2012 was the year of big data. But the fundamentally all that data is explicit data not implicit. Something I also made clear during a panel in London at last years Trans-media festival.
In a recently interview Valve’s Gabe Newell talked about the Steam Box’s future. Steam is a very interesting gaming ecosystem and recently Valve’s been moving to Linux after Microsoft said Windows 8 must work the way they said it does. Anyhow the important thing is Gabe’s discussion regarding implicit forms of data
Speaking of controllers, what kind of creative inputs are you working on?
Valve has already confessed its dissatisfaction with existing controllers and the kinds of inputs available. Kinect? Motion?
We’ve struggled for a long time to try to think of ways to use motion input and we really haven’t [found any]. Wii Sports is still kind of the pinnacle of that. We look at that, and for us at least, as a games developer, we can’t see how it makes games fundamentally better. On the controller side, the stuff we’re thinking of is kind of super boring stuff all around latency and precision. There’s no magic there, everybody understands when you say “I want something that’s more precise and is less laggy.” We think that, unlike motion input where we kind of struggled to come up with ideas, [there’s potential in] biometrics. We have lots of ideas.
I think you’ll see controllers coming from us that use a lot of biometric data. Maybe the motion stuff is just failure of imagination on our part, but we’re a lot more excited about biometrics as an input method. Motion just seems to be a way of [thinking] of your body as a set of communication channels. Your hands, and your wrist muscles, and your fingers are actually your highest bandwidth — so to trying to talk to a game with your arms is essentially saying “oh we’re going to stop using ethernet and go back to 300 baud dial-up.” Maybe there are other ways to think of that. There’s more engagement when you’re using larger skeletal muscles, but whenever we go down [that path] we sort of come away unconvinced. Biometrics on the other hand is essentially adding more communication bandwidth between the game and the person playing it, especially in ways the player isn’t necessarily conscious of. Biometrics gives us more visibility. Also, gaze tracking. We think gaze tracking is going to turn out to be super important.
I’ve recently upgraded my phone to run Google now and its so weird…
When talking about it, people say show me and I have nothing to show them except the weather and maybe a couple of calendar things like someone birthday or a appointment I have upcoming. But when waking up this morning, the phone had tons of information about getting to work. Every time I would look at the screen another option was available to me (as time passed). The lack of ability to dig up stuff and look back at stuff is really interesting, as google now is simply that… Now!
Interestingly like google now, I discovered when showing people the first perceptive media prototype, futurebroadcasts.com. I would need to use my own machine because it relies on your implicit data for parts of the play. Meaning I couldn’t just load it up on another persons machine (or at least reliably), and expect it to work the same way.
I already said its the difference which in the future will be more interesting than the similarities, and I stick to that.
I know how people love quotes… So here’s one… Implicit data is the anti-matter of big data…
The trends, forecasts, etc will all be displaced (change) once we know implicit data’s place in the over all sum. We’ll throw our hands in the air and shout, well of course! How silly of us to make judgements with an incomplete sum… The early adopters are already homing in on this fact.
I heard Geoff Nunberg’s piece on NPR’s podcast and I got to say, although I’m pretty much big dated out from BBC Backstage (in a nice way) I’m in total agreement. Here’s a few key points… Well worth listening to in audio form…
Whether it’s explicitly mentioned or not, the Big Data phenomenon has been all over the news. It’s responsible for a lot of our anxieties about intrusions on our privacy, whether from the government’s anti-terrorist data sweeps or the ads that track us as we wander around the Web. It has even turned statistics into a sexy major. So if you haven’t heard the phrase yet, there’s still time — it will be around a lot longer than “gangnam style.”
What’s new is the way data is generated and processed. It’s like dust in that regard, too. We kick up clouds of it wherever we go. Cellphones and cable boxes; Google and Amazon, Facebook and Twitter; cable boxes and the cameras at stoplights; the bar codes on milk cartons; and the RFID chip that whips you through the toll plaza — each of them captures a sliver of what we’re doing, and nowadays they’re all calling home.
It’s only when all those little chunks are aggregated that they turn into Big Data; then the software called analytics can scour it for patterns. Epidemiologists watch for blips in Google queries to localize flu outbreaks; economists use them to spot shifts in consumer confidence. Police analytics comb over crime data looking for hot zones; security agencies comb over travel and credit card records looking for possible terrorists.
It’s the amalgamation of all that personal data that makes it possible for businesses to target their customers online and tailor their sales pitches to individual consumers. You idly click on an ad for a pair of red sneakers one morning, and they’ll stalk you to the end of your days. It makes me nostalgic for the age when cyberspace promised a liberating anonymity. I think of that famous 1993 New Yorker cartoon by Peter Steiner: “On the Internet, nobody knows you’re a dog.” Now it’s more like, “On the Internet, everybody knows what brand of dog food you buy.”