Today’s automation: Alexa, Google Home, and self-driving cars. All of them versus our loss of control.
It’s automation versus autonomy. We embrace all the new technology. With open arms. Slowly our liberties are taken from us. In a world that is constantly telling us to keep our data safe and private why are we the ones that are allowing automation to come into our lives?
Alexa for example, is a listening device that we willingly and intentionally bring into our homes. Of course it listens constantly, if it didn’t, how would it know when to respond?
Those devices have cameras and discussions are recorded. They’re also quite easily susceptible to hacking. Quite creepy if you ask me.
Who is listening in on the other side? Do we know them? Talk about lack of privacy and to make matters even more unsafe, we are the one allowing this. So when we, users, complain about other’s listening to our children, aren’t we the ones that are endangering them? Aren’t we the ones that we need to direct that complaint to? We make a choice and that choice comes with risks. Those risks get greater each day that passes by.
However, this goes deeper. How about choice and buying power manipulation? Amazon, Google or any of those companies, can use and sell all our information, in this case conversations, to marketers. Those marketers pay a pretty penny for that information; your personal preferences.
Technology for our home such as alarms, garage doors, lights… all controlled by apps on our mobile devices. What happens when our devices are lost, stolen, or hacked? There is a lot of that going on these days. What do we do when we lose control of all of it? Hackers are masters. It may take you a few minutes to stop them, but those few precious moments are pivotal to them to have everything under their control.
But this goes even further. Anything said or written is used against and for us. Dark advertising, cookies, types of information taken from us and then used on us for the sole purpose of purchase. But what happens if it is not dark marketing for purchase power? What happens when you open that small tab on the sidebar and it takes over your computer hard drive and you are not aware of it?
Twitter, Netflix, Equifax, Capitol One, Facebook, and Paypal can get hacked and malware installed in their state of the art sophisticated technology, what makes us think we are not targeted too? Yes, it’s a smaller scale, however, when you have money or your identity stolen, your perspective changes.
How about institutions that allows you to tap your phone app to a wi-fi unit for your purchases. Another great today’s automation tool. Much easier to do as you can get your products immediately no verification needed. Loss of millions due to fraud each year. Yes, you may get your money back from your bank after weeks on end of working with the banking institution and submitting papers. But who do you think will reimburse the bank for the financial loss? Rate and fee slowly added to our banking system.
Another concern of mine is self-driving cars. They scare me. It is so scary to know that someone out there is controlling the car. There is so much distraction already on the road, how does someone out there in the space life knows what the split of a second action is going to be? Yes, studies shows that 81% of road accidents are as result of human error, but what happens when it is not? What happens when the technology that run those cars is hacked? Are you willing to allow an hacker slam on the brakes or accelerate and cause an accident. How about not being able to work safely under poor weather conditions?
I am sure the pro’s (decreasing of drunk drivers on the road, police officers directing their attention on more serious crimes, less irresponsible drivers on the road and more…) will compensate the con’s. I guess I am not there yet.
My questions to you: Do we trust today’s automation? Bring it in? Or stay away?