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Call For An Alternate Internet

Updated: Feb 8, 2022

Psst… only for intellectuals

Call for an alternate Internet

Photo by Maksim Goncharenok from Pexels

A billion more are set to join the internet and I wonder what data will get added. The answer lies in what content rose in the recent past. It is well known that it heralded the rise of Tik Tok, Instagram, Snap, and more. A lot of selfies, people dancing videos, not data that will further humanity. Not much to better science, better health, better art, better integration.

The rise of junk data:

Do we want more of this…

  • Dance videos

  • Fake news

  • Trolls

  • Conspiracy theories

  • Good morning messages

  • Hatred

Maybe in small doses, as it keeps one human and connected. It does give the underprivileged access to education and opportunities. So maybe but the genesis of the internet was not for this. It was in the halls of technology & science.

Negative network effects:

Internet heralded network effects. The more people use a system the more it benefitted everyone. Is it totally true? Pause…

  • A single google search results in millions of results… when was the last time you read through the million.

  • A single video search gives millions of videos… which one is from a true expert

  • Every person is an expert, every person is a storyteller on professional networks

  • There are more startup mentors & advisors than startups on professional networks

  • More visionaries and strategic thinkers than real people who have done it

Gosh, wish I could find that real piece of data, that real expert who will push the needle. The network effect has increasingly led to negative junk data.

We are increasingly finding a needle in the haystack. Where is reality? Where is real expertise? Where is the truth? What theory is real? Where is the unbiased view?

A breakaway internet:

Need a breakaway internet. The existing paradigms can stay and can be enjoyed by the people who want it. A breakaway that can preserve sanctity is urgently needed. It is possible in the existing construct. Here are a few possible changes… (presented in From → To format with an idea of how existing tech can potentially do this… tech is just an idea/ trigger)

  • From: data curated basis likes → To: Data curated basis expertise, quality of the content (tech: think content-based recommendation rather than collaborative)

  • From: People hiding behind pseudo names → To: People post with their true names (tech: opt-in and those that don’t are excluded from the breakaway)

  • From: Can’t undo data → To: undo posted data and its trails (tech: a lot of research exists here including security key tagging of content to erase when the key is disabled by a content creator)

  • From: push recommendations → To: Subscribe to certain recommendation engines (tech: expose the recommendation rationale and filters so people can subscribe appropriately)

  • From: keyword searches with millions of results → To: meaning, history & context-based searches (tech: AI-led embedding techniques based search)

  • From: #tags → To: filters… ex: not subscribe to #machinelearning (which gets tagged randomly these days) but specific types of content under machine learning posted on the platform (tech: filters + content-based recommendation)

  • From: virality basis likes & engagement → To: virality basis new to world content (tech: outlier detection when embedding/ vectors of text & image are clustered)

  • From: big tech controlling all data → To: open source all data via APIs (tech: mandate & regulate data APIs, not the companies)… this would ensure new creators, new startups an equal playing field

  • From: human-generated content → To: machine curated content (tech: text & image is digital and algorithms can generate new content… think GANs)… ensures an unbiased view to complement and if necessary counter human views

  • From: more content → To: fact-checked content (tech: think Wiki system for every platform)

  • From: no intelligence → To: leveraging intelligence… ex: a comment like comfortable stay in a hotel would mean different things to different people and is practically useless… understand my comfort & recommend (tech: horizontal persona to understand tastes rather than vertical to understand transactions)

The Call:

The Internet is increasingly machine-driven and all of us are connected to this matrix… our day-to-day news feeds, shopping patterns, music playlists are driven by machines. The matrix can’t be filled with haystack. Let us build a breakaway and ensure this matrix is more intelligent, secure, and transparent. Time for an alternate internet. Time to only have the needle.

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