Digitisation of Human Tasks
Ever since computing existed, code has
been replacing menial tasks that help humans get to an accurate result
faster. This started with simple maths calculations, and has grown
into algorithms so advanced that the code that drives them is worth,
potentially, trillions of dollars.
Billion Dollar Tech Giants move faster than Government
The exponential advancement of algorithms has been so fast that governments haven’t been able to keep up. Eventually though, they will need to regulate them. As consumers, we’re adopting tech products so fast, most of us are not aware of the real cost to us.
Do we know what companies are doing with
our data? How valuable actually is our personal data and internet
behaviour? Humanising the terms and conditions so we can all can make
informed decisions is something that will require government
regulation. Similar to food packaging, it is likely a universal system
will highlight the good, bad and ugly of any digital algorithm we give
our data to.
Big Data is the Fuel
The billions of sensors in the devices of
the everincreasing Internet Of Things, capture and feed unprecedented
amounts of data into the cloud. This is open season for algorithms, as
this ‘Big Data’ fuels their calculations. They can instantly see
patterns that would take a human years to discover.
By accessing a few simple data points from Tess’s calendar, Instagram, weather feeds and flight price sites, the AI uses an algorithm to compute the perfect holiday for her.
“Ahh, Hawaii! Good call, Jay! I haven’t been for years”, says Tess with a sparkle in her eye.
Jay takes a fraction of a second to bring up some flight prices. “I can see here, Blue Sky Air is offering 20% off the flights if we sign up for 36 months of offers.”
Go for it, Jay - that sounds fair. ” Tess takes a sip of her coffee as the car quietly accelerates onto the driverless lane on the freeway.
Since the International Algorithm Act came in in 2020, companies can no longer profit from user data without first sharing the potential revenue that will be created from it. Gone are the days of unreadable pages of terms and conditions. Now, everyone ‘owns’ their data, and can see exactly how companies will profit from the details they hand over. The public’s personal information has a monetary value, which can be traded with companies for their goods and services.
This had a huge effect on Google and Facebook when it was released, as their business models were completely flipped, and the value and control was put back in the hands of the user. When the secrets of their algorithms were revealed, regulation tightened up and created a data economy that was much fairer for the people. Everyone from airlines to cinemas now pitch for you when you share the intent to buy, instead of Google auctioning you off to brands - Google now pay you when you declare an intent to buy something.
As Tess approaches the office, her inspired look into a live feed of the Maui surf break is interrupted by an email from the AARO, the Australian Algorithm Regulation Office.
Her client, Doze Inc., is a global retailer specialising in sleeping products ranging from pillows to herbal sleeping medication. She recently consulted them in their implemented facial recognition software out front of their stores at airports. It recognises millions of registered users as they pass their stores. Once recognised, the algorithm knows their travel schedule, and suggests relevant products to them as they pass the window.
In the email from an Algo Protection Officer, she is notified that her client’s algorithm is being audited as a customer has reported them for exploiting their agreement.
Tess pauses reading to clarify an important point, “Jay, did we submit Doze’s algo for the Q4 Code Submission?”
“No, we are still waiting for sign off from the client.”
“Well, nudge Yuri now, and tell him to get on it. All he needs to do is say the words ‘I approve’! It’s not like it is 2018, where we needed to send an email to approve stuff. We want to avoid AARO auditing us at all costs. It’s expensive and a massive time-waster.”
The Q4 Code Submission is a quarterly obligation for companies to declare the code in their algorithms for the AARO’s AI to review.
She immediately sets up a video conference in the car with an AARO Officer, who outlines what the issues are.
After a short conversation, she learns there is a privacy breach of the agreement with their customers. The destination of some passengers is appearing on the public screens out the front of the shops without that customer’s permission. To comply, Doze need to send a request to all customers asking them to accept the new terms, which includes a micropayment of $2.28 every time is it activated.
“Yuri has signed”, confirms Jay.
“OK, thank goodness. We may be able to avoid the audit, but we can’t avoid the cost of $2.28 per ping. I suggest we adjust the algo to remove the destination being displayed on the big screen. Please confirm Yuri is OK with this plan, thanks Jay”.
“Yes, Yuri has just approved, and I have notified the Doze developers of the change.” says Jay.
As Tess’s car pulls up to the front of the office, she finishes her coffee with a sigh, and resets for the day ahead.
“What a start to the day! I can’t believe it is only 8am. ” She steps out of the car and into the lobby, as Jay’s voice switches to the speaker on her mobile.
“Yuri says he is forever grateful”.
Every business has the potential for a
revenue saving, or generating, algorithm. The best way to develop
this hypothesis is to review yours, and your client’s business,
highlighting any process that requires improved speed and scale.
Algorithms can find new efficiencies in these tasks, and if executed
correctly can make a significant impact to the bottom line. To speed
up this process, brief an Algorithm Specialist to explore a
solution. Find a specialist here.