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Web psychology, part III

Technology giving us the ability to design our own online personal identity algorithms

The psychology of digital marketing, parts I and II recap

From its inception, marketing has relied on psychology for insights and strategies. Digital marketing is supercharging this long-standing connection. In Part I of this series, I focused on one example:  how the inappropriate use of online video jars our ‘hard wiring.’ In Part II, I discussed how emotionally intelligent AI makes us increasingly vulnerable to marketing ploys while new Virtual Assistants hold promise for rebuilding our online defenses.

Below, I discuss the emerging development of new technology giving us the ability to design our own online personal identity algorithms —This leaves a lot of territory to explore in future Insights articles.

New online technologies
designed to optimize human well-being

To date, digital technology has been all about optimizing commerce. Few of us consider the possibility of taking control of the online algorithms that define our needs, emotions, and ethical standards. However, if we don’t, others will continue to manage that for us by default. As AI-based online technologies become more transparent and respectful of our preferences, users will feel safer making decisions, including purchases, when online.

Several companies already offer first generation software to help us control our data– either by selling it to us directly or organizing it on platforms. Such services can be found on Datacoup, Mecco, Sedicii, myWave, digi.me and Magpie. Some experts believe that such individual ‘data currency engines’ can provide individual control while at the same time generating significant business value. Strict online privacy laws in the EU are creating additional momentum for this and other potential strategies to protect personal information.

Next generation of protection?

A significant advancement, suggested by one IT engineer, would be to combine a personal assistant with a sophisticated data filter and proxy avatar (the latter, leveraging virtual reality technology) to help stay true to what has personal value for us over time. This would demand a level of sophistication we haven’t yet achieved.

Surprising emotional benefits of robotic AI

One final note–the Internet of Things has introduced helpful, friendly companion ‘robots’ like Google’s NEST and Amazon’s Echo. ‘Artificial empathy’ coming from AI-enhanced emotionally intelligent machines creates a beneficial feedback loop for us humans. When machines honor our subjective feelings and beliefs, it reinforces our emotional awareness and capacity for emotionally intelligent behavior towards our fellow human beings.

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