An Open Apology on Behalf of Data

A voice against the rising tide of antipathy

LinkedIn 24th July 2017

Hi there,

It feels like it’s the right time to say something as I seem to be causing all that is wrong in Advertising these days and I’m very sorry. I didn’t realise that all the time I was trying to measure stuff, that what I was actually doing was causing problems. I didn’t know I was encouraging everyone to think short term or if indeed whether they actually needed to think at all. It is quite clear that I need to change but I need help. For too long now I’ve just been used to measuring stuff just because I kept getting asked to. I then get told off because I’m either not measuring the right thing or what I am measuring is not want you wanted me to measure in the first place. Lots of people have been having a pop at me saying I’m racist, ageist and overweight. I wish I knew how I could be better? I wish I knew how to behave better? The trouble is that no one wants to engage with me. No one wants to take to the time understand what it is I’m showing. They just assume that all I want to do is to kill creativity somehow. They say that the fact that more and more advertising spend is going Digital is evidence of this. They say that the growth in Social media has reduced quality. I suppose that must be my fault too? In response to all of the problems that I’ve created it seems that the most common response is to aggressively give up.

I’m particularly nervous about the future too. It’s only machine learning but once someone called it artificial intelligence, it seemed to cause a problem. The more I learn, the more it’s assumed that eventually I’ll decide that it’s probably best if I make all the decisions. Everyone seems to forget that no matter how clever or brilliant the processors become, all I can do is process information, and make calculations. I can’t feel and I’m not sure that I want to. I can’t think, I can only provide probabilities.

One thing that I have seen over the years is that those that have faced any kind of trial and have succeeded have usually been the ones that have adapted, have learned and have moved on. I’m constantly being asked to evolve, I guess the question is whether everyone who hates me is willing to or not? Maybe there are people who have been misusing or misquoting my work and if that is the case, I can only apologise again. My question is anyone brave enough to apologise to me for all the abuse I’m getting?

Yours Sincerely