The perplexing questions
How do you relate to Google, Alexa, and Siri?
How do you feel when you are typing your personal diary in Google Docs and Google tells you that “you already wrote about this, here” with a link to your previously written document?
How do you feel if a software tool replies to questions without your intervention?
How do you feel chatting with a bot? Have you ever chatted with a bot?
How do you feel about Google or Facebook suggesting ads or information about something that happened in your real life but you did not remember you typed in Google or Facebook?
How do you feel about Google Calendar reminding you that “it is about time to reach the destination of your upcoming appointment”?
How do you feel when Google Maps sends you a monthly summary about every single place in which you have been during the last 30 days? Were you always in places you wanted to be? I hope for you. Were you in places you don’t want everybody to know about? (hey! Where did you go?)
Is that the right photo you wanted to be reminded of that day, 7 years ago, by Google Photos?
The nice surprises
When Alexa tells you that coffee is about to be delivered and one second after the doorbell rings.
When Google Calendar reminds you that it is your favorite uncle’s birthday in a week and you should get something nice for him.
When Google Fit gives you monthly totals that you have to sum up to get the 1,000 Km you walked during the last year.
When Grammarly suggests rephrasing your convoluted sentence.
When the Android keyboard suggests how to write “serendipitous”.
When your Fitbit reminds you to move! Now!
They learn to be better
When you like a post or a photo, when you dismiss a suggestion, when you reply to a Tweet, when you star a website: each time you interact with the same software that is giving you suggestions you are training its Artificial Intelligences.
What’s the boundary between the usefulness of the suggestions that you receive and the information you have to provide to get them?