Trapped in a filter bubble? Be smarter

A filter bubble is a state of intellectual isolation that can result from personalized searches when a website algorithm selectively guesses what information a user would like to see based on information about the user, such as location, past click-behaviour and search history.

Bubble filters are found on website search such as Google Personalized Search or Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook's personalized news-stream, Netflix etc. As a matter of fact, people seek a satisfactory rather than an optimal solution (bounded rationality) and therefore this technology is successful.

"people seek a satisfactory rather than an optimal solution"

This can be very pleasant, because indeed you find easily and rapidly what you are looking for and will satisfy your request.

Artificial Intelligence (AI), or more specifically, deep neural networks, guesses what information you would like to see. The more you use search tools or social media apps on your device, the more the algorithm will learn what do you like and offer you results that match those interests. Therefore, the results of your device will be different that those of another person.

This can be very pleasant, because indeed you find easily and rapidly what you are looking for and will satisfy your request.

However, you may then be trapped in a wonderful bubble of similar opinions, without being called into question, nor challenged. You become intellectually isolated and miss sometimes new opportunities.

It’s not a new phenomenon. Indeed, everyone tend to connect with other people or enter in a community, with similar beliefs or opinions. The risk is that your views are reinforced, and alternative ideas are not considered (echo chamber). The reality may be distorted.

Therefore, it’s important never stop being curious, going beyond the results on the web, searching for different opinions, questioning yourself, discuss with different people on different subjects.

Let’s be honest, that’s definitely not easy, because it’s comforting being agreed or receive an echo of your own opinions and arguments. Who would deny it?

The benefits being critical are nevertheless that the algorithm will learn from your critical research. This is the positive side of AI. It learns; good things and not always so good things from us humans.

Be smarter and use the technology to become a better you.

Lastly remember to sometimes disconnect.