How TikTok knows your innermost desires

The Chinese-made social video network TikTok, has recently become the most popular website on the internet, surpassing even What makes them so popular among people?

The answer lies with the latest development in tech, called AI, short for Artificial Intelligence.

What is AI? You could think of AI as computer's ability to think for themselves. If earlier computers had to be programmed beforehand on how to react to each situation, today's computers are becoming more automous. We will see this technology applied more and more in our computers, smartphones, cars, home devices, etc. Today's computer programs have the ability to learn from data they receive and to make decisions after processing that data.

One of the reasons the most popular social networks are so addictive, is their adaption of this technology.

When you just create your account on TikTok, you would first get a feed of the most popular videos on the platform.

As you scroll through the videos, you would pause and watch those you find interesting. While you're doing that, the AI engines of TikTok are recording your activity. If you pause on a certain video for longer than on other videos, the massive brain of TikTok notices that and gets a hint about your current mood.

If, for instance, you pause by depressing videos, TikTok would start showing you more depressing videos. The more minutes you spend on the site, the better TikTok knows you, and the more data it has to keep you on the platform. Some people say, TikTok figured out who they are in 30 minutes, while it took them many years to figure out who they are themselves.

The primary way social networks make money, is by selling you ads. So it is in their best interest to keep you on their site as long as possible, so they could sell you as many ads as possible.

That may be well for the social network. But how does that effect your daily life? How much time do you lose every day while you're glued to the endless feeds of social networking apps? How does it effect your social and emotional health?

These issues are been raised more and more by concerned earthlings. Just because we have the technology to hook our fellow beigns to our apps, does it mean it's ethical to use them?

We see more and more regulations coming from governments against the Big Tech. Because such regulations are long overdue. If somebody broke into a house and killed a teenager, they would be punished most severely. But when social networking sites break into a teenager's life and continue destroying them emotionally until they commit suicide, there are no laws to punish that. Teen suicide rate in the US went up by 3 times since the invention of social media. Shouldn't there be regulations against this type of crime?

Some people may argue that it's not the social network's fault that people kill themselves, it's how people use social networks. That argument may have held ground when computer programs where dumb and simple. But as technologies become more and more sophisticated, it's becoming harder and harder to use them sparingly. At some point, we may need to come to a realization, that the only way to not be addicted to social networks, is to not use them. Because if you give them 5 seconds of your time, they will figure out how to get you hooked.


Last modfied on: 2022-01-11 23:01:58