Jeff Bezos: Today's internet is a 'confirmation bias machine' that could help autocratic regimes
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- At the Wired 25 conference on Monday, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos weighed in on the current state of social media.
- "I worry that some of these technologies will be very useful to autocratic regimes to enforce their will," Bezos said.
- He also said, "the Internet in its current incarnation is a confirmation bias machine."
- Still, Bezos believes the problems facing social media are common to other technologies in their early stages and progress should not be halted.
After touting his space tourism mission (now set for 2019) and defending Amazon's work with the US Department of Defense, Jeff Bezos also weighed in on the current state of social media and the internet in general on Monday.
"I think the Internet in its current incarnation is a confirmation bias machine," the Amazon CEO said. "I worry that some of these technologies will be very useful to autocratic regimes to enforce their will."
Bezos, who was interviewed at the Wired 25 conference in San Francisco, California, thinks the problems with social media are worrisome, but similar to other technologies in their early phases.
"Having technology that increases confirmation bias probably isn't good. It is going to lead to more tribalism," he said. "The book was invented and people could write really evil books and lead bad revolutions with them. And create fascists empires with books. It doesn't mean the book is bad. Society develops an immune response eventually to the bad uses of new technology, but it takes time."
In Bezos' view, the current problems with social media - especially the issue of identity politics - will be corrected for over time and are worth the pains of today.
"A bunch of things are going to happen that we aren't going to like that come out of technology but that's not new. That's always been the case. And we will figure it out," he said. "The last thing we'd ever want to do is stop the progress of new technologies."
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