Page 2 – The Tech News Debris for the Week of June 27th
The Biggest Risk for AI Agents
When we think about Artificial Intelligence agents, we’re presented with a dilemma. If the agent knows to much about us, we consider it creepy. If the creator of the AI agent uses that information to either manipulate us or seduce us into impulse buying, the creepy factor goes off the charts.
One way to solve the problem is to keep the information local. Our smartphones certainly have the 64-bit horsepower and storage to do that, but there’s little incentive for the developer to give us that tech for free. Apple is attempting to solve the problem with what’s called “Differential Privacy.”
By structuring the scope of what can be known about you personally, Siri can answer a question like, “What’s the best pizza place in Austin, TX?” But Siri can’t answer other more personal (and possibly uncomfortable) questions about your personal life. By design.
However, when some kinds of information are collected about you personally, ostensibly to, ahem, help you, that information has value. This podcast asks the question, “Artificial intelligence companies need our data. Can we stop giving it away for free?”
The challenge for users in the near future will be to figure out how much assistance they need and want from AI agents. That dictates how they’ll interact with them. In turn, those decisions could dictate the evolution and success of AI agent technology. These agents might become an intrinsic part of our lives if done right, with corporate discipline and judgment. If not, this emerging technology could go the way of Google Glass.
The rate of smartphone sales growth is slowing where adoption is widespread in the U.S., Europe and China. As the first article in the preamble on page one points out, “73% of [U.S.] teenagers between the ages of thirteen and seventeen own smartphones.” Today, growth in these regions continues, but at a slower pace, and robust growth will be in, most notably, India. For some perspective and brief analysis, see: “The forces behind the global deceleration in smartphone sales.”
There are rumors that Apple will introduce a new iPhone 7 colors in the fall. Both black and blue are mentioned. (Personally, I like the idea of an all black iPhone.) Martin Hajek, who specializes in concept renderings sent me a link to his website where he presented some cool possibilities. Here’s one that shows what both a black and blue iPhone 7 might look like next to the classic space gray color.
Finally, unlike Stevie Nicks, I seldom keep my visions to myself. One of the visions I had a few years ago, perhaps shared with a few, was this. With the advent of smart TVs and most households with Wi-Fi internet connections, why not put a video camera on the top? Then everyone could have a joyous, long-distance, big screen FaceTime (or Skype) call with friends and family.
That turned out not to be a Big Thing.
And so, with a heavy heart, I saw the final nail in the coffin. “What changes are coming to Skype for TV?” Here’s an excerpt.
Since 2010, Skype has delivered a great calling experience in the living room in partnership with several TV manufacturers. But over the years, users have changed the way they use Skype, with the majority accessing it from a mobile device—including when in the living room. We want to make sure we prioritize delivering the best possible experience to the platforms our users are asking for, which is why we’ve decided to focus our efforts in other areas…
Visions come and go.
Teaser image via Shutterstock.
Particle Debris is a generally a mix of John Martellaro’s observations and opinions about a standout event or article of the week (preamble on page one) followed on page two by a discussion of articles that didn’t make the TMO headlines, the technical news debris. The column is published most every Friday except for holidays.