Miscellaneous Mental Musings of an Emerging Artist
Depending on the industry you do most of your work in, you may have seen varying degrees of how market behavior analytics and predictive algorithms have been affecting business strategy and tactics. Sales representatives, for one example, now work with virtual assistants on their phones or tablets that help them plan their daily, weekly, and monthly routines in terms of which clients and leads to contact, when to contact them, and what method or message might be most effective towards closing a deal. These AI programs also factor in the representatives’ own typical behaviors, the same way Netflix will suggest a set of shows for you based on the fact that you decided to binge the entirety of Caprica.
Such programs are designed to continue learning and adapting as circumstances change, but I doubt that any of them have been prepared adequately for a situation such as a complete regional shutdown and business interactions being forced to move to a virtual space. The computer assistant is going to tell you that you’ll be more effective if you talk to Client A in person but it will track that you made a phone call or sent an email instead.
My first point is that six months from now, assuming we’ve been able to move back to something approaching normalcy, you’re going to have a lot of algorithms that are making predictions and suggestions based on a lengthy and anomalous period of behavior, and it’s going to cause additional problems depending on the time it takes both humans and AI to re-adjust. An algorithm doesn’t understand what you mean when you tell it you were under strict quarantine due to a global pandemic.
My second point is that maybe we’re experiencing the sort of divergence event that halts the rise of SkyNet.