Digitification: Why the World Community Needs a New Term

We live in a world where everyone has heard the term objectification at least once. But does anybody know the exact definition of this term?

Objectification is the act of treating a person as an object or a thing. This term is applicable to a person or a group of people who subjectively rate someone, without taking into account individual characteristics. In most cases it happens because of subjective perception and social attitudes of the rater, and it acquires a negative connotation for the rated one person.

But this does not mean that the evaluation process must disappear.  On the contrary, in society there is still a need to assess the attributes of the subject and therefore, in order to separate a bad assessment from a good one and not cause a public outcry, it is necessary to introduce a new term digitification, which carries a neutral connotation and does not violate people’s personal boundaries.

Such a term will make it possible to separate the concepts of objectification and digitification, not to confuse them and not to ascribe to each other inappropriate characteristics. 

Digitification – is the process of assessing the attributes of a certain person on a voluntary basis by another person or artificial intelligence, based on objective criteria created for a particular rating system. Moreover, rating systems are different, and therefore they must be correctly selected in order to be more accurate and effective. 

For example, many people use Uber or Lyft. These applications have a rating system that allows the user to rate drivers and drivers to rate passengers on a scale from 1 to 5.  But it is worth noting that it is not people who are evaluated, but their objective characteristics.  Applications offer to evaluate such objective attributes as politeness, behavior, driving skills etc. This is what distinguishes digitification from objectification.

Another example is online shopping and shopping platforms where users place an order.  There are both those services where the platform itself acts as a seller, and those where anyone who wants to promote a product can become a seller, for example, Amazon or Aliexpress.  In both cases, buyers evaluate the quality of the services provided, but in the case of Amazon, sellers can also make an assessment, but for buyers.  This applies to such objective attributes as politeness and the ability to resolve the problem, if any.

Both in the case of transport companies and trading platforms that have rating systems, their business is successful and relationships with customers are well established. Moreover, the services are regarded as safe and reliable, which means they inspire confidence among users.

By the way, there are even states in the world in which the rating system is an integral part of society and it also shows good results. 

In the United States there is a Credit Score. This is a number that provides a comparative estimate of an individual’s creditworthiness based on an analysis of their credit report. But if the US and its Credit Score ​​apply to lenders, such as banks and credit card companies, use credit scores to evaluate the risk of lending money to consumers, then China has implemented an entire national pilot program, through which every citizen of the republic is tracked as a decent or dishonest taxpayer, citizen and Internet user. 

If citizens comply with all rights and obligations, then their Social Credit System is high and they are on a white list, and if not, then they fall on a black list.  Such a system ensures order in society and allows its residents to feel comfortable.

Today, anything can be evaluated, and this does not necessarily have a negative connotation.  For example, there are several services on the Internet to assess attractiveness. Maybe some people will say that exactly such services generate an objectification process, but what is bad about the service for assessing one’s appearance on a voluntary basis?

The user independently comes to the service, provides his data and accepts the cookie policy, as well as uploads a photo and accepts the terms of use. A person  is interested in how attractive he is in the opinion of artificial intelligence.  And if for the first user it is an opportunity to have fun, then for the second user it is an important aspect associated with, for example, professional activities, such as modelling.

For instance, a model will be seriously interested in assessing her appearance, because the better her makeup or hairstyle, the more chances she has to be cast and get a job. Or there is another example: a person is looking for a job and wants to make a good impression on the employer not only with his skills and abilities, but also with a presentable appearance.  Why is it bad to choose the best photo using such a service?  What kind of objectification is here?

One of these services is called photofeeler.  It helps users find out what impression their photos make.  The opinion about the photo is based on the ratings of the customers of the service.

This article was created with the aim of implementing a new term digitification into everyday life that can change the course of human thinking for the better and open up new possibilities in the field of measurement systems through ratings and reviews.

It was also created in order to provide people with the most reliable and accurate information, protect them and those who are around them, make their life comfortable and, finally, provide them with objective and useful information.

In such conditions of the modern world, where everything is a subject to assessment and discussion, it is necessary to understand and be able to separate the “good” from the “bad” and the “negative” from the “positiv”.  So, if people have already learned how to rate goods from an online store using a binary, 5 or 10 point rating system, then there is still no idea for some of them how to evaluate human qualities.  Moreover, a specific concept for such an assessment has not yet existed, and therefore this work provides clear arguments why the world community needs a new term which is called digitification and how it will affect people’s lives.

It is easy to rate something, but it is difficult to rate  somebody.  It is incorrect to rate a person in general, based on one thing only. It is also incorrect to rate a person based on someone’s subjective perception only. 

People often do not know how to rate each other, and if they want to do it, they do not take into account many human qualities and characteristics, and therefore they materialize the object of assessment, reducing this process to something primitive and subjective.

The task of the new term digitification is to show that the assessment process is not always bad and does not always lead to objectification, because digitification is a voluntary assessment of the qualities of a subject based on objective criteria.  From this, three key aspects can be distinguished:

 1. Voluntary

 2. Objective

 3. Assessment of qualities

In the process of digitification, a person clearly understands that he is not evaluating another person, but his qualities and skills.  Such an assessment process is voluntary, since a person himself decides to evaluate some of his attributes or allows another person or artificial intelligence to do it.  And, finally, the assessment is based on objective criteria, previously created for a particular rating system.

Read the full article here.

By Kseniia Nazarova

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