How Cool are Personal Digital Assistants? (Part 2 of 2)

This blog post is second part of a 2 Part Series Post. If you haven’t read the first one, start with Part 1. Part 1 introduces the situation and characters in the story. I strongly suggest reading it first. In this part Varun continues sharing his thoughts with his two college friends about how technology has evolved and how things are rapidly changing.

Varun…

Ever wondered what happens when you use MT Assistant? You have given it permissions to use your location, hear your mic all the time, read your messages, contacts and pretty much everything personal. Its everything that at times you won’t want even your close friends have access to! MT Corp knows about you more than you know about yourself. MT Corp can predict the holidays you may plan for, the flights you fly, what do you think about different brands, people, where do you stay, where do you work, where do you dine, when do you leave for work, the route you take on a daily basis, when do you come back home, where do you spend the weekend, and the list is never ending. MT Corp knows just about everything. MT Assistant is going to be used by millions of people. This personal assistant stays with the user all the time – 24×7. It’s your Personal Assistant and will keep working unless your devices are powered down or you disable it!

Varun continues…

You must also be aware of the Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence systems that are constantly working on your data to understand more and more about you. Data is the epicenter of Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence systems. These systems aren’t much without data. They can answer innumerable questions you have never asked or thought of before. The more data they get the more powerful they become in terms of finding answers, insights and patterns.

Tarun…

But these are so cool and make your life so easy. Say when you text me about a movie over the weekend, MT Assistant understands it and with just a few taps it can book the required tickets for us without me going to browser and doing all by myself, all in the middle of the lecture in the class!

Varun…

I believe it’s an unfair trade-off of losing privacy against a few handful of convenience features. It doesn’t take more than a few minutes to book the movie tickets. Pull up the ticket booking app and with few taps, you can book it in minutes. And this is true with most of the so called “cool” convenience features your zero-privacy gets you.

Varun continues…

Say MT Corp doesn’t share user data with any third parties. But isn’t the MT Corp alone sufficient enough to know everything about you? Users use MT Corp’s services to store photos, communicate over email, chat/video call with friends & relatives, find directions, search for stuff and learn about things online, etc. With MT Assistant, MT Corp will be pretty much the epicenter of all of the user’s digital footprint personal life. Users would be creating data that would live forever. If this doesn’t sound scary to you, let me tell you one more thing, you can never deny the possibility of unethical hackers breaking into and gaining access to all of the user data. Isn’t that scary enough?

Arun and Tarun, together echo…

Yes, now that seems to be scary!

Tarun…

What’s your take on data and Machine Learning? Can you give a few more examples about Machine Learning?

Varun…

There are a lot of efforts going on to use Machine Learning Systems in several fields for the betterment of mankind. For instance, consider the field of Medicine and Health. A Machine Learning system which has been taught to identify a subtle clinical condition (ailment) with the help of thousands of scans of a brain, can assist doctors diagnose the condition much faster.

Tarun…

I get it Varun. That was an eye opener, thanks!

Arun…

Thanks Varun. You have shared valuable thoughts and was just the time when I need to buy a new phone.

–End of Story–

That was all about it. I thought putting this across in the form of a story would be a good way to convey my thoughts. Thanks for reading!

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One thought on “How Cool are Personal Digital Assistants? (Part 2 of 2)

  1. Pingback: How Cool are Personal Digital Assistants? (Part 1 of 2) | Abhijit Annaldas

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