In the face of a century of traditional polling to predict public opinion, there is a shakeup afoot in the prediction game. Margin of Error: AI, Polling and Elections examines how a startup called Advanced Symbolics (ASI) uses artificial intelligence (AI) and public social-media data to forecast voter behaviour. But the promise of new technology also comes with questions about its accuracy, the threat to citizens’ privacy and our democracy itself.
Every one of us volunteers a huge amount of private data with virtually every Internet service we use, without reading or understanding the terms of service. This data can now be harvested by AI to accurately predict among many other things, how we will vote.
Even without surrendering personal information, the new AI algorithm Polly, developed by ASI, combs social media to build profiles of different demographics and determines their preferences.This method has already led to Polly’s success in predicting both the 2016 Trump victory and Brexit. With the 2019 Canadian federal election campaign as a real time back drop, Margin of Error puts Polly to the test revealing how an AI doesn’t just give a detailed picture of the publics voting intentions, but also how specific events can alter them.
But will knowing what our hopes and concerns are, give politicians the intel they need to respond to our needs, and lead to a “utopian” society, as ASI’s CEO Erin Kelly claims, or can this data be misused to mislead us – either by our own governments, or those of our adversaries? And should politicians even be responding to our desires, as expressed through social media?
Three girls die before their 21st birthdays. Kayleigh, 19, a victim in a fatal car accident; Amber, 16, bullied into taking her own life; and Jenna, 20, lost a fight with a rare disease. Soon after, their stories go viral and the world is given access to their lives and deaths.
Kayleigh wrote a bucket list that was shared the world over after her death, inspiring thousands of strangers to live her dreams. Amber seemed to have it all, her suicide sent shockwaves through her small town, questions are asked and a portrait of online bullying and torment emerge. Jenna is diagnosed with a disease so rare that doctors didn’t know how to treat it, turning to social media to find support and raise awareness, her campaign ‘Get Me to 21’ makes her a star, and saves lives but sadly not her own.
Timelines is a documentary about three young girls who lived and died on the internet, a story about grief in the digital age and how personas are shaped online. And for the families the question remains, how do you say goodbye, when death goes viral?
Timelines from Sideways Film on Vimeo.
One man’s soul searching decision on whether or not he should join Facebook sets him off on an epic journey of self-discovery as he weighs the pros and cons of becoming a member of the world’s largest social network.
From long lost high school friends who use it to stay in touch with classmates, to the pick-up artist who trolls the site to score with women, to the criminal who tracks your every movement to know when to rob your house, the best and worst of Facebook is on display. We meet couples bought together using the site, and those driven apart, people who are addicted to its charms and even the Winklevoss twins, the co-creators of Facebook.
Blending interviews with news clips, TV shows and other archival footage, Brant Pindivic documents his search for the meaning of Facebook with a storytelling style that is both personal and endearing, throwing up surprises through out his journey.
The deeper he explores the social network’s vice like grip on those who use it the more he realizes the answers to its popularity lie within. Whether you’re a fan of Facebook or not, this is one film that is funny, fascinating and a must for anyone wondering what everyone is talking about.