For those interested in a contrasting viewpoint – because there are always at least 2 ways to look at an issue – to my recent post about the potential effect of the “filter bubble,” I am using this post to present the other side of filtering. Filtering – in layman’s terms – is the way by which companies like Google and Facebook (“gatekeepers”) determine what your search results will be, using algorithms that incorporate data from your prior search habits. Ian Eslick recently sent me a link to an article that explains the positive aspects of filtering. Eslick is a PhD candidate at MIT Media Laboratory and is studying how filters apply to healthcare information on the web. Here’s an excerpt from that article:
In an era of increasing information overload, the filter is a necessary and valuable tool and we’re only at the beginning of the technology curve. In the context of health, filters are critical to improving the effectiveness of the rising class of e-patients.
This is a fascinating topic that is not new, but that I have recently discovered. I certainly don’t claim to be an expert, which is why I am posting the MIT Media Lab’s perspective, as well.
Do any of you out there have thoughts on the topic? How about filtering as it relates to healthcare information? Did you know about the concept of the “filter bubble” or personalized search results or is this also the first you have heard of it? Do you see other pros and cons to it? Does this topic even matter to you?