Do you agree that using AI (and/or other advanced technologies) to create targeted ads is more intrusive than past advertising methods?

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Emotions are for Sale

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Your Emotions Are For Sale

1. Do you agree that using AI (and/or other advanced technologies) to create targeted ads is more intrusive than past advertising methods? Why or why not? Support your position.

Technology has changed advertising tremendously to the extent where AI is employed to improve creativity. Technology can no longer be underestimated, it taking over individual lives to the extent where it makes decisions for us (Braincraft, 2018). With the long hours being spent on the internet, it has become easy for social networks to know the content they will deliver to individuals. The ability of the internet to predict the information needs has been termed by many as the 4th revolution. Use of AI has made the use of the internet easy because it understands what we want and how we want and it does not disappoint.

Despite the huge strides technology has made, use of AI in advertising faces criticism from individuals. Individuals claim that when content is easily predicted, it exposes individuals to the dangers of being hacked and manipulated by cybercriminals (Braincraft, 2018). The practice of phishing an internet user’s activity to design targeted ads infringes on privacy may be unethical as per Aristotelian virtue ethics but the benefits to the customer outweigh the level of privacy compromised. An internet user or a targeted customer does not have control over their browsing activity which is wrong.

The insecurity is understandable but the positive effects should be appreciated. In my honest opinion, I do not agree that the use of AI in advertising to deliver the desired content is an intrusion of privacy. Use of AI to predict what one needs gives the internet a human touch; it makes it feel like we are communicating with our colleagues.

Use of AI in advertising makes the information that we desire easily available to us. This makes it possible for us to view the adverts of things we might be interested in making purchase decisions easier to make which is in line with virtue ethics. The long hours that could have been used in searching is saved. For so long individuals have been craving for a personalized when using the internet, the use of AI has come to deliver that (Braincraft, 2018). It is not an intrusion because individuals usually share personal data willingly. Use of AI enables companies to market directly to those clients directly interested in their products. Although the use of AI may look like an intrusion of privacy, it is the individuals who are responsible for their own experience.

2. Would you argue that users have a right to be informed of how personal information an algorithm gathers about them, and/or how that information is used in the delivery of content

Technology has led to the exponential expansion of social networking. The 21st century is known as the era of technology dominated by the heavy use of social media. With the heavy use of technology, there is an influx of sharing personal information on the internet. Sharing personal information on the internet has put privacy at risk (Braincraft, 2018). Private information can now be easily be accessed by online criminals. Online databases have failed to guarantee the privacy of personal information. The common crime to personal information is cyberstalking, criminals use individual profiles to illegally manipulate others into giving them what they need.

Due to high risks that individuals face when their information is shared on the internet, I think that users have a right to be informed how their information has been used. As per deontological ethics, the government has a duty to keep consumers informed and safe. To that end, the government has a duty to ensure the privacy of Americans is not infringed by advertisers. Websites that mine data for the intent of internet usage activity has a duty to protect it and safeguard it against unauthorized access and use as per deontological ethics. When individuals know how their data is being used it becomes easy for them to protect themselves. Individuals should also be advised on how they are supposed to interact with others when using social platforms. In the 21st century, almost all transactions are done online, from financial services to entertainment (Jonas, 2014). And to gain access to the services individuals have to share their personal information. What individuals do not understand is that there are algorithms that use the data to manipulate the content they can receive.

Individuals have a right to know what will happen to their information when they disclose it. It is the duty of the body collecting this information to inform the owners of the data of how the data will be stored, handled and used. When individuals know how their data will be used they become proactive about risks of sharing personal data. Criminals hack into individual accounts and lie to them based on the content they commonly receive. Other individuals argue that users do not have a right to be informed on how personal information is being manipulated. Individuals always have to agree to the terms and conditions before they proceed to use social platforms. However, these platforms abuse the trust of their subscribers and share it with others for-profit organizations assuming they reserve the right to manipulating data to suit the user.

3. Answer the speaker’s question at the end: Is it okay if an algorithm can know that you are more vulnerable to certain content when you are feeling tired or sad, and to be able to detect those states/moods, and to then cater deliverables to you to the advantage of the merchant (or others)?

Advertising is integral to businesses, and businesses will use all means possible to ensure that their services reach the target market. Organizations have been spending so much to market their products but thanks to the advancement in technology that has changed. Businesses are now integrating the use of AI in the advertisement. AI easily identifies the content are usually interested in and becomes easy in delivering that to them. Use of AI has limited the time individuals used to skim the internet searching for specific content. AI keeps tracks of activities making it easy to deliver what one desires.

No. I am not okay with the use of algorithms to detect what content I want at certain times of the day. Use of AI in advertising creates so much deception; it is unethical to pry on the privacy of an individual with the excuse of delivering desired content according to virtue ethics. Infringement of people’s privacy is immoral and unethical (Jonas, 2014). Use of AI in the advertisement is not there to help an individual but just to propel the growth of the merchant. Use of AI exploits an individual when they are a week without offering any solution to their sadness. Advertisements usually exaggerate the benefits of the products in the content delivered.

According to Aristotelian virtue ethics, it is inherently wrong to infringe other people’s privacy. Consent should be sought from people who have been pried on before using the data for targeted marketing. Use of AI in advertisement creates subliminal perception which leads to moral deterioration. A proper in which advertisements can be evaluated needs to be evaluated. Merchants need to follow ethics before intruding on one’s privacy and taking the imitative to decide what content they should gain access to (Jonas, 2014). Content presented to an individual may fall into the wrong hands and may pose serious risks to the individual. Sharing how an individual feels makes them vulnerable to cyber attacks. Individuals pretend to offer solutions to sadness but they are aiming to manipulate the user.


Braincraft. (2018, December 14). Your Emotions Are For Sale [Video file]. Retrieved from

Jonas, H. (2014). Technology and Responsibility: Reflections on the New Tasks of Ethics. Ethics and Emerging Technologies, 37-47. doi:10.1057/9781137349088_3

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