Thursday, December 31, 2009

Facebook A.I.

Facebook is beginning to scare me (and I don't mean the way it scares old people). I'm getting scared of its power. Gone are the days when you could say, "Wait, you know so-and-so? That's so weird! I went to school with so-and-so! Small world!" Because nowadays facebook will give you a notification that you and so-and-so have mutual friends (which sucks, because I really like the phrase "small world"). Also gone are the days when you had to ask someone what they did on their vacation. Now, they have a photo album called "What I Did on My Vacation!" and you can know about it six minutes after they get back.

But increased ability to anonymously stalk people aside, facebook is starting to worry me in how intuitive it is. I was writing a nasty email to a friend last week and decided to check my facebook page. And the status update bar asked me, "What are you doing?!" And I said, "You're right, facebook. I'll just let it go. It's better to spare our friendship than to be petty about something so trivial as cheating at Boggle." So facebook is my conscience now too? It was supposed to just be my interactive address book.

But let's face it... if any bit of technology is going to become self-aware, it's gonna be facebook. It knows our full names, who we're in a relationship with, where we live, what we do on vacation, our likes, dislikes, and now it's starting to guess things a little too accurately. Let me give you an example. Last night facebook suggested that I reconnect with my wife. It said I should send her a message. Now how does facebook know that we were arguing*? And how does facebook know that we haven't been out on a date, just the two of us, in a year?! I didn't post a photo album called "What My Wife Looks Like When She's Mad At Me," I haven't been SuperPoking anyone, and I certainly didn't update my status (it still says "RIP MJ"). So facebook is now beginning to detect things in my marital relationship that I'm barely aware of in real life. If that's not scary, I don't know what is.

*For the record, we weren't arguing. C'mon, people. It's just a joke.


AFWingMom said...

that is scary and a tad bit creepy.

Jill said...

I tried to click the like button...but I couldn't find it.