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Jeff Kagan: Eliminate Political Bias from AI, Social Media, Search

The US Congress and media says political bias is impacting social media and search engines. Does that mean AI is next? If so, how can we fix this so AI can grow?
Equities columnist Jeff Kagan is a telecom, technology and wireless analyst and consultant. He covers 5G, AI, IoT, the metaverse, autonomous driving, healthcare, telehealth, pay TV and more. Follow him at JeffKagan.com and on Twitter @jeffkagan and LinkedIn.
Equities columnist Jeff Kagan is a telecom, technology and wireless analyst and consultant. He covers 5G, AI, IoT, the metaverse, autonomous driving, healthcare, telehealth, pay TV and more. Follow him at JeffKagan.com and on Twitter @jeffkagan and LinkedIn.

According to the US Congress and media coverage, political bias is impacting both top social media sites and search engines. If that is so, isn’t AI next? If we can, let us look at this important question without any political bias. Let’s not take one side or the other. Let’s just consider whether it’s better to have technology with, or without political bias.

Artificial intelligence is the way computers think and act. Sounds unbiased until you realize its thinking is programmed by people, just like search engines and social media are. And people have their own biases. We all do. That’s just natural. However, like with religion, different people believe different things. So, we should allow all voices to be heard in the debate.

We have a unique opportunity right now. Before we go down the same biased path with AI, we need to stop and think this through and make sure we are doing the right thing for our future as Americans.

America rewards a free, open and unbiased marketplace. A public square where we can share our ideas even when they run in conflict with other ideas. That’s the way it has always been.

America Is That Shining City on a Hill

The blending of ideas and thinking always makes a better and stronger America. That’s the way we have always done things. That’s what has made us that powerful and shining city on the hill. The place every other country tries to emulate and every person in the world wants to live.

This battle of ideas has been being waged for generations. It started centuries ago with newspapers, then radio and television. It started with news then spread to entertainment and programming. And it continues to spread today.

However, this also creates pushback. As the pressure increases, so does the pushback. That’s where Rush Limbaugh came from. That’s what created the idea of Fox News to go head to head with CNN, or AMAC to battle AAPR.

The world we live in has always been a battle of ideas between one side or the other. Settling in the middle has made America strong and great. No nation is perfect, but we have the best of all worlds because of the constant debate.

The Battle of Ideas Is Good and Has Built America over Generations

The truth is, this battle is good. That debate is what ultimately makes us stronger and more united as a people. Eliminating one side only makes us weaker. It gives rights to one side and leaves the other out in the cold.

However, we no longer seem to be in that world. A world where we can all compromise, both win and meet in the middle. A place where when we both give a little. A place where we can live and love everyone including family and friends.

Today the atmosphere is darker, dirtier and uglier. Today many family and friends have such political conflict they no longer speak. Is that what we want? We have crossed over the line. We have gone way too far for our own good.

This is a problem we have been wrestling with for a while, but it is just starting to bubble to the surface with appearances before the US Congress over the last year. The problem is, I think it will get much uglier before it gets better.

We Have a Choice with AI, Either Biased or Unbiased

That’s the world AI is being born into. There are so many technologies like IBM IBM Watson to Apple AAPL Siri, Google GOOGL Home, Amazon AMZN Alexa and so many others. There is AI that we know about and interact with, and plenty of others that fool us.

AI is growing into every area of our lives. And in that world, wouldn’t it be a shame if it is considered to have a political bias the same way search engines and social media are today?

In that world, the push-back from users and governments will only grow. That is an impediment that can be avoided. So, what’s the solution?

We can either create unbiased technology, or we can create a left and right version of everything. Creating separate technology rather than compromising would only make the walls between us thicker and make us as a nation weaker.

Political Compromise Beats Political Bias Every Time

It’s not too late to solve this problem. We should all wrap our arms and minds around this, debate it, work together and fix it before it becomes a real problem. Just like we always used to. Just like we still can once again.

Yesterday, we used to debate every issue from opposite sides. Each side would give some to meet in the middle. It was called political compromise. The new ways of doing things would be a combination and both sides would be happy.

That’s where we need to get back to. Today we fight the other side to the end. No give and take. We no longer compromise. In that world, everyone loses. We have lost something special. Something that made us a strong nation. Something we need to get back once again.

AI, Search Engines and Social Media Should Be Unbiased

In this case, the best thing is simply to make technology unbiased. To make AI, social networks and search engines unbiased. That’s the only answer. We don’t want to be at war with fellow American’s. We don’t want to be at war with friends and family.

As American’s, we are just a people with different ideas. We all have the same rights and we can all re-learn to live together just like we always have over history. American’s have always wrestled with different ideas.

You remember the Civil War, right? We came together after that one. We can come together after this one too.

Unbiased technology is the only viable solution going forward. It’s the only real answer. The only way to make us stronger as a nation, not weaker. Better, not worse.

This is one of the most important issues we need to address as a nation going forward. Every one of these new technologies needs to be included in this debate.

So, let me ask you a question. Where do you really want to live? That shining city on the hill surrounded by family, friends and neighbors and living a happy life, or this knock-down, drag out fighting world we find ourselves in today? The answer is up to each and every one of us. Happy holidays!

Jeff Kagan is an Equities.com columnist. Kagan is a Wireless Analyst, Telecom Analyst, Industry Analyst, speaker and consultant. He follows wireless, wire line, telecom, Internet, cable TV, IPTV, Cloud, Mobile Pay, FinTech and communications technology. Email him at [email protected] His web site is www.jeffKAGAN.com. Follow him on Twitter @jeffkagan.

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