Artificial intelligence does strange and wonderful things. It can get you to inbox zero, help you find your new fave tunes and even make dinner reservations — without you having to ask. It really is like living in a McMansion with a butler, minus the fat stacks of cash and the British guy in a tux (although you can still have the charming accent). And AI is being worked on every day, which means we keep getting cooler and cooler stuff. Seems great, right? But (there’s always a but), sometimes AI can be too smart for its own good — or does that mean it’s not smart enough? Point is, you really shouldn’t just take the backseat and let AI drive.
AI learns from you. This means that all those times you hit “like” or commented on an article you saw on Facebook, you were teaching the AI what your preferences and interests are. And yes, that means politics. As we rely more and more on our butlers (Siri, Alexa, etc.), they will learn about our political beliefs and be able to influence our views, much like a friend could. If you use Facebook, the social media giant gathers data on what you and your friends do, the information you give, which devices you own, etc. and uses it to make deductions about your political leanings. Pretty creepy. While it may seem good that if you’re a Democrat your butler will give you Democrat-leaning stuff, the reality is your butler is rapidly becoming a very biased source of info.
You aren’t your butler’s true master. Amazon Echo and Google Home each cost less than $200, and that’s a one-time fee. That means that as the AI learns and grows and offers additional services, it’ll have to get its “paycheck” from advertisers. Yuck. Since the advertisers are signing the check, your butler will probably recommend services and products that are in the advertisers’ interests, not your own. But it’ll do it in a sneaky way, so you might even think you came up with the idea to buy that thing you totally don’t need. Whoa. This just got way too Inception for us.
Do you trust your own digital butler? Or do you ignore it altogether? Discuss @BritandCo!
(h/t Wired, photo via Hero Images/Getty)