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The End for Social Networks? Amazon's Facial Recognition Breaks Down and Cord Cutting Accelerates

Facebook and Twitter see losses in Active Users

Facebook's share value dropped this week by an amount never seen before on Wall Street. The cause? They're seeing drops in their user base, and worse, no horizon for increasing their overall numbers. Twitter experienced a similar blowback this week with similar user numbers dropping. https://business.financialpost.com/investing/zuckerberg-loses-16-8-billion-in-a-snap-as-facebook-plunges

Key Takeaway

When those of us with MySpace accounts flocked to Facebook and left Tom behind, we were running to the next best thing. It was about FOMO, it was about better tech, it was the hunt for what was next. Today I think it's a completely different story. We got bored. Our grandparents and parents signed up, immediately killing the cool factor of the platform - and the endless stream of fake news and other content that we didn't go there for in the first place.

Ultimately - the product didn't evolve - it followed shareholder needs.

Amazon's Facial Recognition AI Matches 28 Members of Congress to Criminal Mugshots

The ACLU released a study last week that showed Amazon's "Rekognition" software (facial recognition AI) falsely identified members of congress as criminals. Amazon's response was that the Confidence Score of these IDs was too low to be considered a match - with the ACLUs false identifiers only coming in at 80% confidence. To further make the issue worse, those identified were visible minorities, indicating that the platform had issues in detecting differences amongst non-white faces. https://www.theverge.com/2018/7/26/17615634/amazon-rekognition-aclu-mug-shot-congress-facial-recognition

Key Takeaway

Where Social Networks are becoming passe, or at least mainstream - AI is one of the more emergent trends that most people don't understand. This story is a clear case of the dangers of a lack of information, both on the ACLU's part, and with the public. Moreover - and dangerously so, institutions like Police forces are looking to this technology to help them do their jobs more easily, but as this story points out - false identifiers could lead to disastrous results.

Cord Cutting is Estimated to Jump by 2022

According to eMarketer, 33MM households in the US will have cut their cable by the end of this year, rising to 55MM by 2022. That's roughly 17% of the total US population. http://fortune.com/2018/07/24/cord-cutting-comcast-netflix/

Key Takeaway

Between Social networks dropping in active users and TV losing audience share, we'll likely see a larger shift to behavioural media targeting through content publishers and search.

As a personal aside - I would have thought that number would be much higher, but I guess that's confirmation bias for you as a cord cutter myself.

The End for Social Networks? Amazon's Facial Recognition Breaks Down and Cord Cutting Accelerates
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