#TheAgeOfSurveillanceCapitalism quotes Michal Kosinski (a pioneer of the original personality analysis work that was harness by #CambridgeAnalytica, IBM Watson, and others) characterizing his own work as "pretty creepy", and stressing that "many of the things that... one *can* do should certainly *not be done*.
Kosinski and his colleague, David Stillwell, warned that "social media users are dangerously unaware of the vulnerabilities that follow their innocent but voluminous personal disclosures".
Just FaceBook 'likes' can supposedly reveal "sexual orientation, ethnicity, religious and political views, personality traits, intelligence, happiness, use of addictive substances, parental separation, age, and gender"
#IBMWatson can supposedly use texts to glean the authors' 'big five' personality characteristics, but also their 'needs': "Excitement, Harmony, Curiosity, Ideal, Closeness, Self-expression, Liberty, Love, Practicality, Stability, Challenge, and Structure", and also 'values': "Self-transcendance/Helping others, Conservation/Tradition, Hedonism/Taking pleasure in life, Self-enhancement/Achieving success, and Open to change/Excitement"
Talking about Facebook [and presumably other surveillance capitalists] hoarding their analyses of personality-revealing data, Kosinski says "it's not because they're evil, but because the general public is bloody stupid." Not because we share our data, but because we don't compel surveillance capitalists to share *their* data with *us*: "We should basically grow up finally and stop it".
Talk about victim blaming!
But maybe personality 'prediction' accuracy doesn't matter?
#TheAgeOfSurveillanceCapitalism quotes Kosinski as saying that "one can imagine situations in which such predictions, even if incorrect, could pose a threat to an individual's well-being, freedom, or even life"
No such examples are given, and I can't think of any in the realm of targeted advertising.
Moved into the domain of policing, a CEO's bullshit pitch becomes something a bit more dangerous.
A nit-picky marginal note:
#TheAgeOfSurveillanceCapitalism uses the word 'prediction' in the context of personality analysis, a term presumably lifted directly from the literature. 'Predict' is a technical scientific term in this context which basically means 'guess facts we didn't otherwise know'.
It *doesn't* have the colloquial meaning of 'forecast the future'.
It annoys me that Zuboff uses 'predict' in both senses in the book, without teasing them apart. I'm not certain it's unintentional
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