notthisbody     Fri, Dec 5, 2008  Permanent link
Though you've brought up a stimulating point, I disagree with you on the possibilities to predict future behavior becoming that strong.

I agree with the following:

With enough information about enough of our actions, and the profile that is put together could eventually create some serious possibilities.

But not this:

What if our past could be mapped out so accurately that our future could be predicted?

I think it's impossible. Here something comes to mind about the definition of the past and future. we're talking about a time where every action that we can make can be recorded, and possibly we can even re-live it down to the exact sensations we experienced at the moment. There would be the possibility to augment these experiences, these memories (here you must go into the structure of memory and how we recreate an experience every time we access a memory). By augmenting those past memories/experiences we are therefore changing some aspect of what we are in the present.

It gets complicated here. Very complicated, if you're talking about predicting behavior with an individual who can augment yit's own past experiences to change who/what yit is now.

What you're talking about is predicting Habit - which IS something that can be predicted (never to 100%) with data collection.

I'm not limiting the prediction to habit - as you mention it is also applicable to health.

But infallible prediction is just not possible - especially if technology gets better and better at a true 'randomization' engine.

What would happen if I instruct my Intelligent Agent to turn on "Habit Randomization" (or...i hesitate to say...Action Randomization) - and put it in control of my consumption, plan for the day - knowledge gathering - whatever! I don't necessarily have to stick to that random habit, but by randomization lets say I've learned about something I never heard of before and then realize my desire to do something about/become involved with /or simply ignore (possibly with a consequence on conscience?)

Once the power of Intelligent Agents is in the hands of the individual instead of the company (as it is now with advertising, profiling customers, recommendation engines, etc.), profiling will become person specific and completely based on the unique user's preference (and personal profile) set for how powerful it can be - rather - how powerful the user desires it to be.

My belief is that each individual has depths that they themselves may not even know, but can arise in the most uncommon ways.

We're not going to know the exact position of every particle in the universe soon at all - for with technology we've opened up pandora's box and no one can predict where, or when, we're going to hit bottom.

I'm with you, that these profiles will open up huge possibilities. But lets not go towards it with the point of view that we're going to eventually KNOW EVERYTHING. This point of view shapes the approach towards how we put this technology into use, and this is an approach that I do not regard as the most wholesome.