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“Echo chamber” is a term widely used in today’s lexicon, that describes a situation where certain ideas, beliefs or data points are reinforced through repetition of a closed system that does not allow for the free movement of alternative or competing ideas or concepts. In an echo chamber, there is the implication that certain ideas or outcomes win out because of an inherent unfairness in how input is gathered.
In IT, professionals could use the term “echo chamber” in a number of ways. One common use of the term in IT would relate to software development processes or other technology development processes where free play of ideas is inhibited, and as a result, the best outcomes are prevented. Someone might talk about a software development project occurring in an echo chamber, where they feel programmers and engineers are not allowed to explore ideas that might lead to better features or functionality.
In addition, the term “echo chamber” can also be used in artificial intelligence or algorithm development to refer to technologies which themselves “have blinders on” or fail to contemplate the entire range of available ideas. A software that is not programmed to take in a full range of inputs, but only a smaller spectrum, might be seen as a technology that suffers from having been built with an “echo chamber” design.
Another big use of the term "echo chamber" is in social media and other interactive platforms, where technologies often select bits of data from a general source according to heuristics or learning algorithms. Users might see a social media feed turning into an "echo chamber" of common, similar ideas and think about why that happened.
In general, the term “echo chamber” illustrates the ways that data bottlenecks or silos restrict available choices and options for people or machines.