Facebook deleted about 583-million fake accounts earlier this year. That means about 25-percent of all Facebook accounts were fake. How did the social giant figure out which ones of the nearly 2.2-billion users were fake? AI. Artificial intelligence.
By comparison, Apple has barely a billion users. Twitter has over 300-million users. How many of those are fake accounts? Or, accounts not in use? In essence, Facebook used artificial intelligence to determine which accounts were fake or full of bad content, flagged them, and deleted them.
Does anyone think that AI found only fake accounts? Is it possible that some actual user accounts were among those flagged and deleted?
Are we entering an era of humanity when so many of us are tied into various online accounts that only artificial intelligence can determine our legitimacy?
I hope not.
By comparison, too, the few times I ventured to the Genius Bar at a nearby Apple Store, the genius was able to pull up my Apple records. I haven’t bothered to download all the information Apple has collected about me, but the genius seemed impressed that a customer’s records could go back so far into the past. My treatment at the Genius Bar has been exemplary and the experience one that breeds loyalty, but the human touch is what made it valuable.
Artificial intelligence, of sorts, is here already and we see it in many forms. Not just Facebook’s AI crackdown on fake accounts. We see AI on Amazon, too. Search for batteries online and soon you’ll be stalking by battery ads. Buy batteries on Amazon and the company treats you to an email barrage asking if you want other batteries to add to your collection.
Amazon’s version of AI does not seem to differentiate an ongoing or growing collection vs. a simple need to replenish old batteries. The human element is missing.
A few times a year we dine out at a very good restaurant a mile or so from home. They collect customer information and keep it online so they know which waiter we prefer, which table we like, what we’ve ordered and how we prefer certain foods to be prepared (even capturing information about food allergies).
Is that data capture creepy? Or, a touching display of customer consideration?
Here’s an example of how it plays well to me. Often we arrive when the restaurant opens, only to have 20-30 people already in line. As the door’s open, a member of the staff will motion us to come ahead and be seated. That feels really good and further endears us to the restaurant’s dining experience.
The blend between data capture, data usage, and the human touch is important. Amazon’s customer involvement arrives only when something goes wrong and a product needs repair or return. Facebook and Google’s customers are advertisers. The rest of us are users, so their human touch is minimal, but the influence of their brands of artificial intelligence have proven to benefit only their revenue and profits.
Otherwise, why would Facebook need to purge themselves of 583-million accounts?