Invisibly

Advocational AI: Tipping the scales of the attention economy back in your favour

Why would big tech spend millions of dollars on this infrastructure to understand everything about you?

Why would big tech spend millions of dollars on this infrastructure to understand everything about you?
Deep underground are miles and miles of computer servers, buzzing and humming, working 24/7/365 to decode you: your tendencies, behaviors, psychological makeup, favorite color, and even your triggers—especially your triggers.
Why would big tech spend millions of dollars on this infrastructure to understand everything about you? To extract not only your money, but your information and attention – and sell it to the highest bidder. As far as today’s economy is concerned, that’s just standard advertising.



Access premium content without the subscription fees.




The real problem with AI

Right now, most AI implemented around human behavior uses data about you to make predictions. Those predictions turn into prompts to affect the way you act, achieving outcomes that don’t necessarily benefit you. Tech companies, like Facebook and Google, get the bulk of their revenue from advertising. Their incentive is clear: sell more ads. The best way to do that is to ensure that people like you spend as much time as possible on their platform – and that’s where their AI comes in. It’s in the nature of AI to collect as much information about you as it possibly can – often without your active, informed consent. The more this understanding grows, the easier it becomes for platforms to serve you the exact type of content that keeps you ‘engaged’.

What your attention is worth

There is one fundamental difference between companies that operate within the attention economy, and companies that don’t.
Let’s look at Dropbox Pro as an example. If you pay for Dropbox Pro to store and share your files, Dropbox doesn’t really care if you use their service a lot or a little – as long as you’re active enough to retain your subscription. There is no incentive there to keep your active attention drawn to the platform in a way that isn’t beneficial for you.
On the other hand, there’s Facebook.
Facebook employs AI to surface “relevant” content. Let’s unpack that. Does clicking on something because it spiked your attention really mean that it’s beneficial for you? We all know what it’s like to be baited by an article, click on it, and then doom scroll for longer than we’d ever planned to. It’s a phenomenon that erodes our relationships, fuels our procrastination skills and messes with our sleep. The goal of Facebook’s AI is not to surface beneficial content. It is to find content that you’ll engage with, and stay engaged with – no matter what.

Tipping the scales

The difference between how Dropbox and Facebook treat you comes down to the motive at the crux of their business models. When the incentive for companies to increase your content addiction is so high that it becomes core to an industry’s success, it becomes a natural part of the businesses within that industry to operate in a way that harms and disempowers us all.

The solution for this imbalance is Advocational AI.

Most applications of AI serve brands and companies only, at the expense of people – incentivizing business models that aren’t pro-social. Advocational AI (AAI) is a term we came up with to describe an application of AI that is people-first. It means putting the power of AI to work, solely on behalf of human beings (as opposed to companies).
AAI is fundamentally incompatible with the attention economy business model, because it de-incentivizes behavior that damages people in the long term. Feedly is a great example: recommending news articles based on what people actively decide they want to see, and more articles clicked does not translate into more dollars for Feedly. When you as a person are seen as the product, your long-term interest is not being respected. The great thing about AAI is that it turns people back into beneficiaries – which ultimately benefits everyone.
In the end: AI looks at you – but AAI looks out for you.
At Invisibly, we’re leading the way in normalizing AAI because it’s all about a fairer fight. By empowering people to take control of their data and put it to work, we are building a future where consent matters and people come first.
Image of Invisibly

Invisibly

Use your data to access premium content you love.

Invisibly Mobile App

Subscription-free access to top publishers.

Invisibly Mobile App

More like this

The Publisher Monetization Model Breakdown

Developing publishing brand awareness is one of the most effective ways to increase overall profits. ...

What To Look For in A Publisher Monetization Platform

Developing publishing brand awareness is one of the most effective ways to increase overall profits. ...

Monetize Publisher Content: 3 Ways to Grow Revenue & Readership

Developing publishing brand awareness is one of the most effective ways to increase overall profits. ...

5 Digital Strategies to Grow Publisher Subscriptions

Developing publishing brand awareness is one of the most effective ways to increase overall profits. ...

How To Grow Digital News Readership & Revenue [Complete Guide]

Developing publishing brand awareness is one of the most effective ways to increase overall profits. ...

Revenue Impact of Growing Publisher Brand Awareness

Developing publishing brand awareness is one of the most effective ways to increase overall profits. ...