Turns out all they needed was a Like button and they could rely upon fake social pressure to do the rest. – Vox Day on the subject of mind control
We aren’t there yet by any manner or means but behavioral data mining is a real foundation for…well not mind control but something closer to Asimov’s Psychohistory.
Mind controlling individuals is at best difficult and largely a waste of resources but controlling groups of people is already proving to be fairly easy, when you can predict their responses in macro.
Don’t believe me? Take a look at Hollywood’s marketing campaign’s for the past four years. They have gotten very, very good at predicting how well a film will do. There is the occasional surprise but those are pretty rare.
They know when they have a hit on their hands and they know when they have a bomb. They also know how to defuse that bomb. Your core audience of devoted nerds won’t show up at all? No worries, just start yelling that this movie is going to stand up to the Cowardly Misogynistic Man Babies (CMMBs).
If the marketing department claims the CMMBs are trying to “wreck a feminist movie” and “attack the activist actress,” the Gammas, SJWs and White Knights will pour out of the social media wood work to defend it and more importantly go to the theaters and pay money to support it.
Ghostbusters (2016) made $230 million world wide on a budget of $144 million, so it lost money, sure. BUT it should not have made a dime. It should have been an epic industry disaster up there with Cleopatra, Heaven’s Gate and Pluto Nash. It was a bomb but not a studio killing atom bomb. If the Sony had kept the budget down to $75 million (which they should have. $144 million was absurd) they would have shrugged called it a ‘break even’ and probably started work on (horrors!) a cheaper sequel.
And honestly, movie studios are pikers compared to the real big boys in data science.
Amazon’s A9 algorithm is without question or doubt the most powerful sales engine on the planet. Anyone who tells you they know how the A9 works is either a liar or they work for Amazon. Amazon is more secretive than the CIA when it comes to protecting this technology. Lets be clear. Jeff Bezos’ business is NOT the world’s biggest online department store. It’s the A9 engine algorithm and Amazon just sells shit to support that. It’s the algorithm that really matters. Amazon lost money for years when they could have made a profit because Bezos was pouring all his resources into building it.
Open your Amazon orders page. Go back to the furthest page you can on the orders. Can you recall off the top of your head everything you bought on that from Amazon that year. When you bought it? What time of the day? The A9 remembers instantly. it remembers everything you ever bought. It remembers what you looked at and more importantly what you looked at bought. That search engine is a notoriously annoying pain in the ass to use when you are looking for something specific because it is only interested in showing you what it thinks you will buy. But it has a great track record for doing just that.
“Amazon is, effectively, building an artificial intelligence capable of determining what you will buy. They’ve been using machine learning for over a decade, and the sole purpose is to figure out your habits. They’ve logged everything you’ve ever bought, and in my case this data goes back to 2002. They know that I purchased Lord of the Rings, so I’d want the new Hobbit movies. I like Brandon Sanderson, so Amazon pointed me at Patrick Rothfuss.
They know which authors caused me to buy my way through their entire series (I bought all sixteen in the Dresden Files). This data is extremely valuable both to Amazon and to us, especially when you begin applying machine learning. Amazon employs hundreds of data scientists, and many more software engineers. Their entire job is to make the sales engine more accurate. They are succeeding spectacularly at this, especially in the last twelve months. Amazon’s reach is global, and they have over two hundred million accounts. Amazon knows a lot more than we give them credit for.” – Chris Fox
Now the movie studio are now where near as good… Just yet. But that is about to change. Every content provider will be in streaming by the end of the next year and all of them will be furiously data mining every single view to predict what you are most likely to watch.
The good news is they aren’t there yet. While Disney could predict roughly how much money The Last Jedi would make, they completely blew the fact that it was about to destroy a major strategic investment.
But the fact remains. When you get good at predicting what a group of people will do,… When you get good at knowing what levers will move them. You are better than half way to controlling what they do