Artificial (non) Intelligence

I was at Wal*Mart in Columbia City today with my mom, and we picked up a box of Zeiss Wipes, looked at them, realized that wasn’t what we were looking for, and put them back. And when I got home and opened up Facebook this ad was in my feed.

I don’t know what bothers me more, the creepy stalking by Wal*Mart or sheep-like belief by advertisers that this sort of “big data – A.I. – targeted marketing” works.

Let me spell it out for you Wal*Mart, you’re wasting your money, I’ve never bought any brand of lens wipes and I’m unlikely to ever buy lens wipes. Get the message?

I’ve never clicked on an online ad and so obviously I’ve never purchased anything from doing so. Maybe you targeted marketing chimps[1] could factor that into your algorithms. Oh wait, that would cut into your revenue. Don’t do that, it’s all about how much money you can generate, that’s the only measure that matters[2].

And if that isn’t clear enough for you, I never, ever, willingly shop at Wal*Mart[3]. You are a disgusting blight on our community. Go away, shoo, shoo!

1. These chimps are software developers. I’ve written software, boy and man, since 1982. These chimps are my professional brothers and sisters. My siblings? I’m ashamed of you.

And for what? For a little bit of money. There’s more to life than a little money, you know. Don’t you know that? And here ya are, and it’s a beautiful day. Well, I just don’t understand it.
— Marge Gunderson’s soliloquy in the movie Fargo.

2. “For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil.” – 1 Timothy 6:10. Or as a latter day prophet, Sir Albert Howard, put it “the cursed thirst for profit is at the root of the mischief.”

3. I did buy groceries at Meijer for a while, but I couldn’t shake the unclean feeling. It’s a horrible soulless place, sucking the life out of the community. I don’t care if they do stock Edwin Coe products.

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