One of the consequences of machine learning is that our data is part of a mosaic of data used for training. We’ve voluntarily given companies enormous amounts of information and while, historically, they’ve been really bad at using it in any meaningful way, that will change.
Companies who want to get ahead of the curve will need to ask for consent to use customer data for machine learning and may even ask for permission for specific attributes, or to infer attributes from provided data.
GDPR hints at the future: consumers – us – must insist on rights to our data and how it’s used. If we want a data-rich future that’s not abused, we as consumers must insist on companies asking permission for explicit use cases and otherwise disallowing other uses of our data.
Watch the video for the full perspective:
Can’t see anything? Watch it on YouTube here.
Listen to the audio here:
- Got a question for You Ask, I’ll Answer? Submit it here!
- Subscribe to my weekly newsletter for more useful marketing tips.
- Find older episodes of You Ask, I Answer on my YouTube channel.
- Need help with your company’s data and analytics? Let me know!
What follows is an AI-generated transcript. The transcript may contain errors and is not a substitute for watching the video.
In today’s Friday feeling,
thinking and feeling about consumer information today, it has been a turbulent week in the news and what’s happening to people, particularly when data is not collected. And data is not being used in an intelligent way and how we are using data.
One of the consequences of machine learning for those who have been following along about how machine learning data is used, is that our data our the information that we give, either voluntarily or in an inferred manner is used to train machines. It’s it’s part of a mosaic. And while our individual information may not be
terribly useful in and of itself, when it’s part of that big collection, that mosaic of training data it becomes useful when you have characters
Six of age and gender and online behavior and preferences and search terms and social posts and emotions in text. All of that is a really rich corpus of information that machines can use to build models and to even expand and infer things. If
we talk about machine learning and human resources, it’s one of the most risky areas to use machine learning because we can create
week associations and inferred values that we should not be using in in human resources. For example, if you took the movies and books and songs and and political causes that somebody believed in and liked from Facebook data, for example, you could infer with an incredible degree of accuracy, their age, their gender, their ethnicity, and all of these things of course, that you are disallowed explicitly disallowed from using in human resource
how that data is used is really important.
We voluntarily given companies, particularly social networks, and large technology companies, enormous amounts of information for for a while. And the more we do business online, with vendors with new services with
a group or local grocery store,
the more those pieces of data can be used. Now, historically, companies and the larger the company, the more true this tends to be, I have been really bad using data, they stuff it in desk drawers and stuff and just let it languish
but that’s beginning to change and companies as the machine learning technology as the AI technology becomes more available becomes more
accessible that’s starting to change and so
we have to give some thought to how our
Our data is going to be used and what it’s going to be used for. We see that already happening. look at Europe and the GDP. Our legislation that that was it past two years ago and began to be enforced this past May
in GDP, our consumers gain back the right to
some of how they do data is use the right to provide affirmative consent for different purposes, the right to be forgotten the right to port their data from one company to another
that’s a hint at the future
as as time goes on consumers planetary will need to insist on rights to the data and how it’s used. And one of the things that I think is probably going to come up at some point once
once you have a couple of really big machine learning scandals will be
companies asking for consent to use custom
for machine learning purposes.
Train machines and may even need to ask permission for either specific attributes to that data, or
for the privilege of creating inferred data sets from it. So, again, going back to that earlier example,
with movies and books and songs with those three data fields,
again, you can make some very strong inferences about age and gender, ethnicity,
possibly even language spoken and things like that
the consumers not providing that information, but a machine can learn it from a training data set and and use it with a high degree of accuracy.
It is not unreasonable to think that consumers would earn the right or would reclaim the right I should say
to say to a company you may not infer anything from my data or you may only infer likely
Purchase behavior or you may only infer
or you are explicitly disallowed from inferring age or gender or ethnicity or religion. Because those use cases again, we’re creating inferred data that has the same potential impact on us as if we’d actually provided that data. So just as it would be inappropriate for say a grocery store say oh what’s your orientation like why does that matters to me them friggin bag of apples
with the data we provide and the data that can be inferred, we we may want to give some serious thought to saying no, you may not infer orientation from my data. You may not infer any demographic data. You may only infer for a limited use case
if we as a society and consumers don’t.
insist upon these rights and build. And as we as business folks don’t build our systems with this perspective, it is likely we will get ourselves into a lot of hot water, it is likely that we will
potentially cost ourselves massive legal exposure. The first person who doesn’t get hired and can provably demonstrate that a machine discriminated against them is going to open up a can of worms. Even more importantly,
with all the discussion about how
Facebook in particular but technology in general can impact things like elections and operation of free societies.
There’s such a tremendous potential for the data that is is out there to be misused in ways that we can’t even necessarily forecast suppose for example,
you had a trading data set that said this potential
portion of the population tends not to vote during certain elections. Like they don’t show up at the midterm elections, they only show up at the the big elections and they have these characteristics and you are able to infer age and gender and orientation and ethnicity and religion.
With that you could then run voter suppression advertising to the rest of that segment and potentially change the outcome of an election even if you never had the those characteristics because you were just able to use machine learning to and fro. So
we as as technologists, as business people, as marketers, as data, scientists need to be very careful about what we use
and have to start thinking in terms of consent for the use cases for personal data. As consumers we definitely need to give some thought about what data we give to companies but also start asking for companies I want
Want to opt into certain uses for my data, and I want to otherwise globally opt out of use cases that I’m not giving you specific explicit permission for.
That’s the only way we we prevent machine learning technology from being badly misused.
in the long term, it serves all of our benefit consumers and business people to have a future where people will give us permission. Because if we don’t do that, then at some point again, something bad will happen. And we will globally lose the right to do some of these really cool techniques because some idiot
did the wrong thing. So a lot of a lot of potential problems down the road that we can today
mitigate by thinking in a consent first way for machine learning data, so
Today’s Friday feeling as always, please subscribe to the YouTube channel and the newsletter. Hopefully
I can promise you we won’t be using any of that. I won’t be using any of that for machine learning. So please subscribe and talk to you soon. Take care
if you want help with your company’s data and analytics visit Trust Insights calm today and let us know how we can help you.
You might also enjoy:
- How to Set Your Public Speaking Fee
- The Evolution of the Data-Driven Company
- Best Practices for Public Speaking Pages
- How to Set Your Consultant Billing Rates
Want to read more like this from Christopher Penn? Get updates here:
Get your copy of AI For Marketers (2019 Edition)
Also published on Medium.