Author Archives: ccohen1

Facebook: How private is it?

In the article titled “Mass Interpersonal Persuasion: An Early View of a New Phenomenon” BJ Fogg explores the role mass interpersonal persuasion (MPI) plays in social networking sites. Fogg believes MPI, a new form of persuasion, emerged when Facebook launched its Facebook Platform in May 2007. The new platform allows third parties to create and distribute web applications to all members of the site combining interpersonal persuasion with the reach of mass media (2).

He explains a course he created at Stanford University teaching the psychology and metrics of Facebook applications. Students were instructed to test various options and use data to create and distribute their applications, competing against big companies and professionals to attract users (3).

Fogg describes the six components of Mass Interpersonal Persuasion. An important point to note is that these components have existed before the Facebook Platform, however, they had never been used all together until now.

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Turing’s Bicentennial Man

In “Computing Machinery and Intelligence”, A.M Turing investigates the question of whether or not machines can think. He creates an “imitation game” in which an interrogator communicates between two separate room through writing and must figure out which is the human and which is the machine. Turing explains how the best strategy for the digital computer would be to “provide answers that would naturally be given by a man” as this would make it appear human. This immediately reminded me of the old AOL chatbot Smarterchild. For those of you unfamiliar with this screen name, Smarterchild was an online robot that you could IM and have almost human conversations with.

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