You may think you choose to read one story over another, or to watch a particular video rather than all the others clamouring for your attention, but in truth, you are probably manipulated into doing so by publishers using clever machine learning algorithms. The online battle for eyeballs has gone hi-tech.
Every day the web carries about 500,000 tweets, 300 hours of YouTube video uploads, and more than 80 million new Instagram photos. Just keeping up with our friends’ Facebook and Twitter updates can seem like a full-time job.
So publishers desperately trying to get us to read and watch their stuff in the face of competition from viral videos and pictures of cats that look like Hitler are enlisting the help of data analytics and artificial intelligence (AI).