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Effects of Algorithms on our lives online and offline Essay Example

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4Effects of Algorithms on our lives online and offline

Effects of Algorithms on our lives online and offline

Cyber identification has grown into a ubiquitous and important practice. This is written all over the unique identification that is carried out through user-ID’s, IP-addresses, and passwords besides the specific identification using persistently reconfigured user-profiles on sites such as Amazon. The present advancements in the realm of Ambient Intelligent technologies that result into increased integration of the informational web in the daily physical lives of people are more likely to offer more significance to such kinds of practices of profiling. The way people experience their lives passes through an episode of technical mediation (Vries, 2010). Ones identity experience may influence whether the chances of unwarranted discrimination coming from ubiquitous identifications and differentiation in an Ambient Intelligent environment will translate to a mater encompassing societal concern.

Ambient Intelligence is a future vision whereby autonomic smart environment resolve on unprecedented decisions for both public and private good. The shift is onto an automated recognition pattern which is new philosophy in knowledge construction. This influences people’s lives through loss of privacy and autonomy, stigmatization and unfair discrimination and the absence of due process. Prevailing articulation of law in the technology of printed script is not enough in the wake of new knowledge generation type. It is important to articulate legal protections in the socio-technical infrastructure. Socio-technical infrastructure results into several vulnerabilities (Verbeek, 2009). Profiling is a manner that is economical of anticipating how an environment of a person will behave in the future. It offers for a way of generalization which saves energy, time and attention. The use of profiles to new data permits recurrent testing of profiles as more refinement.

Use of algorithms brings opportunities to citizens with regard to living standards, convenience, the excitement factor as well as safety of new technology. The vulnerabilities created will result a threat to social sorting and privacy. Identity theft is also an effect of these advancements. Profiling is founded on statistical techniques and consequently vulnerable to the challenge of false positives as well as false negative. Categorization has an effect of the access of a person to services, information or spaces or the price that can be paid for the access. Profiling may be unfair since it treats an individual as a part of category he might not be part of. Smart technologies rely on mining of aggregated data that is machine-readable that cause a problem of categorization. Autonomy and privacy is lost due to Ambient Intelligence (Brey, 2005). Privacy is precondition for autonomy. Loss of autonomy and identities occasioned by persistent gathering of information together with adaptation by smart objects will wrest control of the lives of people devoid of any malicious intention on the part of the designer of the product. Profiling is a kind of pattern recognition that reflects refined forms of discrimination. Algorithms create a challenge to the rule of law, identity, as well as privacy.


Brey, P. (2005). Freedom and privacy in Ambient Intelligence, Ethics and Information Technology, 7: 157-166.

Verbeek, P.-P. (2009). Ambient Intelligence and Persuasive Technology: The Blurring Boundaries Between Human and Technology, Nanoethics, 3: 231-242.

Vries, K. (2010). Identity, profiling algorithms and a world of ambient intelligence, Ethics Inf Technol, 12: 71-85.