Fallibility Of Memory

Research suggests that experiences with a high degree of emotional impact have a higher chance of being encoded in our long-term memories. Memories that drastically exceed the threshold of what our mainframe registers as a normal event often stay with us our entire lifetime. These mechanisms in our brain present a powerful gateway for emotional manipulation and has been exploited by governments and corporations since the early days of propaganda and advertisement.

With the emergence of the internet, an explosion of connected devices, and recent developments in data mining technologies, the ability of governments and corporations to gather, analyze, and use personal information has been weaponized to an unprecedented scale. With the use of artificial intelligence, they are slicing through large datasets of timestamped, geo located, labeled information—defamiliarizing it, remixing it, repacking it, and projecting it back on us in the form of personalized targeted ads and snippets of information. In doing so, they have taken control over our individual shopping habits and used their unregulated power to shape our beliefs and emotional states that constitute our political and emotional lives both online and off.

These short-term aims have long-term effects. Our brains prove unable to cope with the repetitive bombardment of emotive information and it has caused emotional instabilities and a sense of detachment from both ourselves and others. It feels cynical that AI-research has turned towards the ability to forget as a solution to increase the efficiency of their systems, only to target and impair that very ability in us. Information that illustrates complex issues is often difficult to absorb, takes time to comprehend, and cannot compete with information that triggers our synapses at high frequency and intensity. The fallibility of information or the lack thereof has impacted our ability to reflect, categorize, forget, and ultimately think freely. We have been molded and gradually worn out, and an alarming number of individuals today show symptoms that resemble victims of trauma.