Minimizing bias as consumers of algorithms

In the book user friendly, Kuang warned us that, “By turning ourselves into consumers who see only the things that we want most, we might lose the possiblity of becoming anything other what a machine thinks we are — and the machine may not have gotten that right to begin with.” It could not be more true when AI and Newsfeeds are dominating our world.

We need to think about how to not let our mind be shaped by algorithms so much and take more control in our identities. 

Every single article I find on this topic is written for developers on how to write more ethical programs. I am writing this for everyone else, consumers of algorithms. 

  • Internalize concepts like Algorithmic Bias and Echo Chambers.

Study shows that if you teach a girl what sexism is, they would be less affected by it later in life. The first step to eliminate negative impact is to be able to pin point its cause.

  • More search. Less newsfeed.

Searching inside the product of your choice would provide the algorithm more accurate data on what you choose to care about, instead of letting it feed you predictions that might be off. Searching outside the product of your choice would more likely give you diversity. Be proactive when you are consuming information.

  • Avoid overflowing your brain.

With products like TikTok and infinity scrolls, there isn’t really time to stop and reflect on what we just consumed. Therefore, it is harder to execute critical thinking. We should try to take breaks to assess if the information. 

  • Understand the product that you use.

How does the company profit? Ads or subscription? Is the information distributed biased? Is the company transparent with their strategy? Are you getting taste-breakers or being continuously affirmed? These answers would help you assess the credibility of the information you see on a certain platform. 

What are your thoughts? Do you have a unique way to escape the negative impacts of the algorithmic world? 

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