Who’s Reading You?

We’ve all heard about Web 3.0, the semantic web which will be machine-readable, meaning that the substance of our communications will be the ground of action for programs.

Well here’s a shocker for those of us who have not connected the dots. You will read the web, and your browser will also read the web, but in addition websites, browsers, and other software will read you. What they learn in the process will affect the sorts of content that is made available to you.

We already see this in rudimentary forms when Amazon make suggestions to you, or when a server detects your device and re-formats content to suit it. These days we also know some of what we don’t see: Google delivers different results to different users based on their search and retrieval histories.

But machines are getting smarter, and more creative. What will they make of your facebook pages? When your interests are at odds with theirs, will their informational advantage give them an edge? These are some of the provocative questions posed in J. E. McEneaney’s Web 3.0, Litbots, and TPWSGWTAU

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