FT - July 16, 2015, by Douglas Coupland
At the moment, Artificial Intuition is just you and the Cloud doing a little dance with a few simple algorithms. But everyone’s dance with the Cloud will shortly be happening together in a cosmic cyber ballroom, and everyone’s data stream will be communicating with everyone else’s and they’ll be talking about you: what did you buy today? What did you drink, ingest, excrete, inhale, view, unfriend, read, lean towards, reject, talk to, smile at, get nostalgic about, get angry about, link to, like or get off on?
I look at apps like Grindr and Tinder and see how they’ve rewritten sex culture — by creating a sexual landscape filled with vast amounts of incredibly graphic site-specific data — and I can’t help but wonder why there isn’t an app out there that rewrites political culture in the same manner. I don’t think there is. Therefore I’m inventing an app to do so and I’m calling it Wonkr — which somehow seems appropriate for a politically geared app. I dropped the “e” to make it feel more appy.
What does Wonkr do? Primarily, you put Wonkr on your phone and it asks you a quick set of questions about your beliefs. Then, the moment there are more than a few people around you (who also have Wonkr), it tells you about the people you’re sharing the room with. You’ll be in a crowded restaurant in Nashville and you can tell that 73 per cent of the room is Republican. Go into the kitchen and you’ll see that it’s 84 per cent Democrat. You’ll be in an elevator in Manhattan and the higher you go, the percentage of Democrats shrinks. Go to Germany — or France or anywhere, really — and Wonkr adapts to local politics.
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