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When algorithms speak for us

An unexpected mistake from LinkedIn left me thinking, this week. Suddenly I began to receive congratulations on my new work anniversary, and all the alarms went on. It does not match any of my jobs, and when a dear friend also congratulated me, I took the opportunity to ask what anniversary LinkedIn was talking about. Suppose that somewhere on the site should be the answer, but, quite frankly, I do not have enough time to try to decipher the whims of the algorithms of a social network.

Mnica immediately gave me the answer. It turns out that two years have elapsed since the publication of my last book,
Hack your mind, by Editorial Planeta. At the time, I had added that event to what LinkedIn calls
Experience. I did not put a termination date, among other things because in my opinion the books are not finished. Although, it is true, as work was already finished. Anyway, I didn't pay much attention to this detail. In total, LinkedIn interprets two years in a new job.

When I entered the site to see how to resolve the situation (not that the congratulations bother me, but whenever they have a handle), I discovered something else. For LinkedIn he had gone from being editor and columnist of this newspaper to "Author of books in Hack your mind" (SIC). I wonder how many people will have stayed with the intrigue, during these two years, about what such a job could mean.

Solution: I went to my profile and put an end date on the alleged job of author of books; a little reluctantly, I must say, not just because
Hack It was a text that I enjoyed very much, but also because one never stops being a writer. After that, my profile showed my main activity again, here in
THE NATION, and published a thank you to all the people who congratulated me on those days (for the book).

It is a vice

Apart from this, the matter led me to reflect on a practice that social networks have imposed and that inspires me a few doubts. One of the pioneers was, of course, Facebook, with the button
I like it. Suddenly, it was no longer necessary to write a comment. The reactions to the keypad were born. As I wrote in 2015, the button
I like it It gives us a dose of dopamine. Simply said, we are designed to like; otherwise this species will have become extinct a long time ago. Therefore, we feel good upon receiving
likes. However, because of the way our brain works, we are producing some tolerance and
Each time we need more likes to experience the same sensation.

This button evolved in such a way that it could adapt to situations such as a duel. It was clear – although Facebook took a long time to expand its options – it was not good to put
I like it to the post of someone whose family member had died. Now its spectrum is a bit wider. But that is not the point. We had begun to adopt a new way of relating with others. Emotions were no longer expressed even through an emoji. Now one click was enough. One touch with your finger.

Well, you have to try to keep an open mind. Perhaps emotionality was preferable to a keypad than no emotionality at all. The problem is that there is a distance between expressing that a post you like (click, and ready) to greet someone on the day of his birthday. A factor that cost me a lot of decoding comes into play: the scale. Facebook says I have more than 2080 friends. OK. Let's think With a lot of effort, I can gather around 30 adults in my house. On the last birthday there were 40, counting children.

Like all phenomena directly related to survival, socializing causes a certain degree of tension. We experience it, in general, as a good thing, but tension exists anyway. Well, entering Facebook means, at least in my case, a tension almost 70 times greater than in the real world.

Unmanageable, and that's where the button
I like it and its derivatives, such as simplified birth, fulfill their function. Can you imagine calling three or four people a day, every day of the year, to wish them a happy birthday? It will complicate me. However, I call my friends. Nothing from WhatsApp, nothing from Facebook. At least one call, not because it emerges from virtual relationships (
I have said many times that it is the other way around), but because these do not replace those. Even the youngest know that virtual socialization complements – and in many cases is the way for – real socialization.

The issue is that some people on Facebook are your friends. Others are known. Others, contacts. It has not happened to them that someone who asks for friendship in the social network and then does not greet them in a hallway? They are different areas, and require different behaviors. Or so it seems.

On LinkedIn, my network has more than 3800 contacts. Some are friends too, but the term contact seems a bit more appropriate. Although, it is true, it will be somewhat shocking for my closest friends to appear as simple contacts. Minor dilemma, it must be said.

The button
I like it evolution to symbolize emotions and, in the case of LinkedIn, began to produce automatic text. You realize because suddenly a lot of people use exactly the same words in the messenger. Something weird happens. In addition, they use the opening exclamation marks, which are not part of the Internet standard. But there are more. You can also thank with a touch on the screen!

Personally, I refuse to use these resources, mostly because they are obvious, and in such cases I send a general message. But this is precisely because of the scale. With so many messages it is impossible to answer one by one. Except with the little button. And ah to socialize there is nothing left, in my opinion.

I don't like to oppose something simply because it's new. Talking on the phone was once, and it turns out that now it seems to us as warm and humane as that of the voice of a loved one. In my childhood, such a thing will have sounded like a heretic. You were visiting. Almost daily. So, instead of complaining, I would like to propose to social networks, email services and various messengers, an innovation that comes from music production.


Many years ago, a musician gave me a demonstration. First he passed a string quartet of Borodin executed by people. Then, he made me the same foursome executed via MIDI by a computer. The sound was perfect, but completely lacking in soul. It was too equal, too homogeneous, accurate, precise, mechanical. With the decades, that has been corrected and today it is possible to sound the machines much more human, incorporating, through algorithms, characteristics characteristic of real musicians. I call them, globally, the subtle human heterogeneity. A musician will never hit the key or the string exactly the same twice, even if the score says it should be the same. And I won't do it because it's meat and bone. It is also a heterogeneous heterogeneity.

All right, there goes the idea. Guys, get to work on algorithms that make the button
Thank you! send a message that means that, but in all its possible variants.
Thanks, che.
Thanks friend.
But thank you very much! Etctera Since they know so much about us, they can possibly replicate our linguistic uses quite accurately. The same is true for congratulations, birthdays, successful operations, travel stories, weddings, births, deaths, political debates, sofa skirmishes, and so on. I think the result could be fun.

Wait I said funny? Typical, rather.


(tagsToTranslate) When algorithms speak for us – LA NACION

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