Facebook unveiled ‘M’ its virtual assistant that lives in Messenger this week, which is a conversational assistant that can do anything from tell you jokes
Sourced through Scoop.it from: thenextweb.com
I find this fascinating not for what it does so much as the potential for the future. We live in the JIT world today where Dr and Professor Google can tell us just about anything about our needs, but they can only deal with facts and as this article points out, a computer can’t have opinions.
However depending on how much information you share an AI or Artificial Intelligence will learn all about you and your habits if you let it and in many cases without you knowing it. Ever been surprised when your Smartphone first worked out that you were traveling home and told you about travel times and options without being prompted?
As your ubiquitous companion develops a knowledge base and shares that with Google, Facebook or whatever your favorite app is, it will get to know who you associate with, what you like to eat and where, all about your family (it already reminds you about their birthdays, right?) and so much more. Note, the AI isn’t your phone, your phone is simply an interface. Your data and the intelligence to interpret it is ‘securely’ housed in mega data warehouses around the world.
It raises many questions. One is how to make sure it has the best possible personalized information for you, and not information that their advertisers want to mold into your day as is quite clearly hinted at in this story. That is so that it can truly be your personal life concierge.
Another is your privacy. If you thought the Ashley Madison hacking was a problem, think about how much information you are sharing with your mobile. it is largely anonymized, however in order to serve you, it needs to know your unique attributes.
6 years ago I wrote a series of blogs about what you could find out about people on Facebook https://luigicappel.wordpress.com/2009/03/25/whos-looking-at-you-on-facebook/ it was pretty scary then, today the change is exponential and in the next few years it will be out of sight. If you read my story in The Future Diaries http://thefuturediaries.com/2012/08/21/my-toilet-says-i-dont-drink-enough-water/ not only will your toilet know you don’t drink enough water, it will also go on your health record and your phone will recommend something like coconut water to help you stay hydrated, going by this story, you will know about it when a sample arrives from the supermarket that you didn’t even order.
Again I have to say I feel very fortunate to live in a country where I feel relatively safe, especially when it comes to Government and authority. Whist not perfect I still feel that if I live my life with honesty and integrity, that I have nothing to fear.
That isn’t the same in so many other countries. The problem then is that these applications, other than the countries where they are banned, know no boundaries. Whether it is for the protection of their citizens or to control them, we are heading to a time where unless you go off the grid, your story is already there for the plucking and in many cases you put it there. Did you understand what you were doing? Probably not, certainly not to the extent we are at today and definitely not in the direction we are going.
Where will this take us in the next few years? Hopefully the positives will outweigh the risks, for some of us anyway.