How To Manage Perception Of Your Product In A World Where Algorithms Are Hated?
Courtesy: The Social Dilemma
I sat through multiple scenes of “The Social Dilemma” as the personified algorithms performed technological voodoo on a simple-minded boy to metamorphosize him into an extremist.
Horrified is not even close to representing the true emotion of the watcher.
But rarely is one point of view any complete or simple.
If you are on the user side of the table, it is easier to accept your reaction. The idea is more difficult to digest and be fine with if you work with Products.
If you are a Product Manager, or into Development, you are well aware of the fact that
Brilliant algorithms are nothing but mere clay in the hands of the master
Algorithms are not the new kid on the block.
But they are certainly getting more and more intelligent. Advances in AI have led to steroid-fueled algorithms.
In a situation where the advances pick up a sharper trajectory than the human minds can understand, and digest, some road bumps are certainly to be expected.
A big part of the problem can be solved by merely creating awareness. Awareness is known to deeply affect the fear one has towards the unknown.
A known devil is better than an unknown angel.
We all Hate Algorithms. Do we really?
The general word out in the market is that Alogirhtms are evil, manipulative, and intrusive! You are sitting, waiting in one of the uncomfortable cold chairs at the airport boarding gate waiting for your flight.
Your ears stood up when you heard your destination is announced.
While you were waiting for a boarding announcement, you were met with one broadcasting that your flight has been delayed.
You stare at the ground staff with all the anger you could muster. But then you hear them apologizing profusely and declaring that it was a management issue.
The next subject of your wrath was that person, you imagine sitting in a plush leather chair, giving orders to delay flights based on their whims and fancies.
We tend to hate the fictional character our minds make up if we have even an inkling that they had something to do with our problem.
We did not for a moment think that it could have been bad weather, or worse a flight accident.
You hated the boss because you did not know how the system worked.
You just bought a new bicycle with all the frills. The fancy bike shows you the real-time calories lost.
This weekend on the trip you noticed you lost 2000 calories. You were more than elated and announced it to the rest of the world.
Next time on the same route your friend wanted to experience your shiny new bike. Swapping bikes for a day hurt nobody.
Your friend’s bike, a good one but an older model, also shows the lost calories. But Hey! Only 1200?
You feel cheated. Was your new bike making up numbers? What was this sorcery?
Huffing and puffing you went back home that day and spent some hours online.
The new bike has inbuilt a new software that in addition to your RPM and heart rate, also considers the incline, nature of the terrain, your breathing pattern, in burnt calories computation.