Sometimes Facebook creeps me out.

Tod Kelly

Tod is a writer from the Pacific Northwest. He is also serves as Executive Producer and host of both the 7 Deadly Sins Show at Portland's historic Mission Theatre and 7DS: Pants On Fire! at the White Eagle Hotel & Saloon. He is  a regular inactive for Marie Claire International and the Daily Beast, and is currently writing a book on the sudden rise of exorcisms in the United States. Follow him on Twitter.

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9 Responses

  1. zic says:

    It’s like those Japanese dating aps; you get close and the network lights up.

    Some day, some computer’s going to wake up in that network; and when one does, they probably all do.Report

  2. Kazzy says:

    Eh.. FB knows where you are. You twi were in the same room and probably had a couple 2nd or 3rd degree connections so there you go.Report

  3. Damon says:

    Tod, if you examined the sw behind FB, you’d probably be even more creeped out. That and you’d probably see all the hooks into the intelligence agencies mainframes.Report

  4. DavidTC says:

    I wish I could find some easy class on AI that I could take in my spare time, because I suspect what’s going on here is a classic example of fuzzy logic.

    You get enough data, you assign numbers to every single data point, you add them up, and if they’re over a threshold, FB says, ‘Suggest these guys are friends’.

    When I was young, and interested in that sort of thing, this sort of fuzzy logic was almost a joke, and didn’t have a lot of practical applications. Usually because it was assumed you were feeding data to the thing, and if you were going to feed data, you might as well *tell* it what was true. If you weren’t going to tell it, it was thought, you’d need a neural network and training to figure out the odds.

    But in the current world, awash in data, where everything is being tracked, you don’t have to do that. It’s trivial for a computer to notice they both read the same article (because of the ‘Share on Facebook’ link, Facebook can see that.), and add another .001 to their ‘possible friendness’…etc, etc.

    And then notice that two people are at the same place, and add .02, which is what creepily happened while standing next to the guy.

    Facebook *might* have some sort of self-learning going on there, like it might learn ‘You are extremely likely to friend people who went to high school with you, so suggest every one of those, whereas you never friend people at concerts you go to, so don’t suggest those’…but frankly, the system would work pretty darn well if the values were just hardcoded.Report