Does Your TiVo Think You’re Gay?

More and more web sites and devices are using associative database programming to try and determine what you will like based on what you’ve expressed an interest in in the past. And what if the algorithms read you wrong? Article at WSJ about such snafus – you watch a movie about a guy whose wife becomes bisexual, and your TiVo immediately assumes you want a steady diet of gay programming. You try to psyche it out by counter-programming a ton of “super straight” content, end up overcompensating… is this the first example of artificial intelligence going wonderfully, terribly wrong in the home? We don’t have a TiVo, but if we did, I’m sure it would think Amy and I just l-o-o-o-o-o-v-e birthing babies.

Music: Freakwater :: Out of this World

5 Replies to “Does Your TiVo Think You’re Gay?”

  1. I run afoul of this at Amazon. Because the Amazon.com site is American (they recently opened a Canadian site, but it’s separate and doesn’t share the same tracking data), and because it’s still a pain in the tookus to order things from the U.S. and get them shipped across the border, I never order things for myself from Amazon. However, I do use it fairly regularly to order things for *other* people. Because they’re not me and they’re not each other, they have wildly different tastes. I’m always amused by what Amazon offers me up on its front page when I visit. After I bought my sister the “Black Beauty” (or something? some horse movie) video, it went on this wild kick of recommending me all sorts of things about horses. It’s only recently getting over that little obsession.

  2. That WSJ article is a little annoying for the juvenile line it keeps taking: “Ha ha Tivo thinks I’m gay isn’t that funny?” Like, WHO CARES if Tivo thinks your gay? Who cares if your neighbor thinks your gay, for that matter? It boggles my mind why somebody would go to all those lengths (recording Playboy channel shows, for crying out loud) just to change some machine’s “opinion” of their sexual preference. Sheesh. My message to those Tivo owners: Lighten up!

  3. Well, the point is really that these algorithms can misread your intentions and figure you wrong – you need to set it straight so it records the shows you actually want to see, not because one is actually concerned that their TiVo thinks they’re gay.

    The problem would be the same if my TiVo thought I liked to watch car races just because I taped Nascar once or something.

  4. You’re Gay? Who fucking cares! Why do so damn many gay people seem to think that their abberant way of being elevates them to some sort of sainthood? If a man likes to stick his penis in another mans asshole, so what? It isn’t supposed to go there; but that’s OK with me, butit doesn’t make that man any MORE special or deserving of special rights or protections than it does a man who put his penis in a woman’s vagina (which by all that’s natural is where it’s SUPPOSED to go!) Why can’t gay people do what they used to say in the 1950’s, which was “What I do behind my bedroom door is none of anyone elses business”, and let it go at that?
    And another thing! If it’s supposed to be true (as gay groups claim) that most pedophiles are heterosexual, why is it that most victims of pedophilic men seem to be young boys????? If you think I’m wrong, look at the facts and the newspapers.

  5. What exactly in my post made you think I was gay? I’m happily married with a son. Are you assuming this? OK, let’s assume I’m gay, just for fun.

    Can you show me an example of a gay person who thinks s/he’s entitled to any kind of special treatment? (or, as you say, “sainthood?”

    Is it really necessary for you to post with such graphic descriptions of sex acts? I don’t know why you feel the need to talk about penises and assholes — what that has to do with your point.

    “Where it’s SUPPOSED to go” — for procreation, sure. For recreation, anyone can put anything anywhere they want.

    As for people minding their own business, EXACTLY. And that’s exactly what the supreme court just decided – that it doesn’t hurt anybody and it’s none of anybody’s business. So why exactly are you all bent out of shape?

    I have no idea how you got from your original point over to pedophilia, but in the case of priests, I think the answer is pretty obvious – they take a vow of celibacy and end up with all their sexual energy all bottled up. Can’t get near a woman, so it expresses itself with what they can get next to – young boys. To me, priest pedophilia looks clearly like an overflowing of repression.

    Now. The post was about artificial intelligenc (TiVO) misreading people’s preferences based on shows they watch on TV. What in hell made you feel the need to vent randomly about disjointed gay-related topics. You say you don’t care what people do in the bedroom, but from your tone, it sounds like you care a great deal. You sound to me like a homophobe pretending not to be homophobic.

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