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Mark Zuckerberg faces 'a tremendous amount of cognitive dissonance', says ex Microsoft engineer

Mark Zuckerberg faces 'a tremendous amount of cognitive dissonance', says ex Microsoft engineer

Mark Zuckerberg faces “a tremendous amount of cognitive dissonance”, says an ex Microsoft engineer.

David Auerbach a software engineer - who has has recently authored the new book ‘Meganets: How Digital Forms Beyond Our Control Commandeer Our Daily Lives and Inner Realities’, which explores how the growing worries about artificial intelligence are with good cause, which is becoming more and more prevalent in the wider tech sector - believes the Meta founder's actions do not line up with his supposed beliefs.

He told the Observer newspaper: “I think it depends on their position. The rank and file feel this, or certainly the ones I’ve talked to do. If you’re Mark Zuckerberg, you’re facing a tremendous amount of cognitive dissonance because you feel no matter what you do, you get flak for it. But at the same time, you don’t want to admit to a level of impotence. My suspicion is that executives are at varying degrees of denial about the sheer scale of the problem.”

David - who also worked at Google - defines a meganet as an array of online information that “heavily influences how people see the world”.

He said: “The definition I use for a meganet is a persistent, evolving and opaque data network that heavily influences how people see the world. It is always on and it consists both of a large server tech component as well as millions upon millions of users who are constantly active, using those services and influencing them. All these users play a small part in the collective authorship of how these algorithms run. The effect is contributing to a severe fracturing of society in which we are literally becoming unable to understand one another, as we split into like-minded self-policing groups that enforce unanimity and uniformity, and prevent any larger-scale societal consensus.”

David also highlighted how they create “homogenity” and sameness in opinion and cited TikTok as one of the greatest offenders.

He said: “Meganets like to track people demographically and pair like with like. That tends to create homogeneity and increasing doctrinairism. If you were to mess with that, simply to avoid congealing, you would at least slow things. There are various ways you could do that. I believe TikTok already has a way of injecting heterogeneous content into its algorithms, because I think the idea was that it was showing too many pro-anorexia videos in a row or something. But if you focus on one type of content, you’re going to be playing whack a mole. So the issue is, can you do it in such a way that you’re getting heterogeneous content more generally across the board?”

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