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May 22, 2017

Comments

RottenApple

Yeah, Big Brother is listening to you.

I have to admit I hate technocrats who blissfully believe in all tech being good and completely ignore the negatives in here. I guess Tester was talking to some more levelheaded people who can look beyond the initial attraction.

Let's just hope that those prevail before selling out privacy completely to the data Mafia.


Tester

@RottenApple:

"I guess Tester was talking to some more levelheaded people..."


Thinking about it, I'd have to concur. These were mostly people who do not use computers as part of their daily life outside of internet access and in general are not technology enthusiasts. Selling some radical new tech to those is going to be very hard because they have to be sold on the mere concept first before they even may think about buying that stuff. It's not like a smartphone which provides clear and obvious advantages.

"Let's just hope that those prevail before selling out privacy completely to the data Mafia."

Since it touches on this subject, just yesterday I have read an interesting article about self-driving cars in my local newspaper that went into great details about the ethical side of AI-related tech. This will indeed be the thing that needs to be discussed. As long as a small number of technophile geeks is handing over the data to a small number of multinational big corporations it's of little consequence, but if those will be able to analyze the daily habits of the entire population it will become a huge problem that may affect society a lot more than some may think.

That said, as a former App developer I have seen the toxic waste of privacy invading 'services' that get built into them so I have become extremely wary of installing anything on my phone which I either cannot compile myself or I am sure I can trust the developer of said software. Which is extremely rare (and impossible on iOS.) I certainly would not let those companies to invade my home - and most definitely not be connected with a device that conains a microphone which can record every word I say.

So, sorry to be so negative about the whole matter. The tech itself is something that could provide great benefits - but the strings it comes attached with absolutely need to be worked out first - and it doesn't look like the industry is willing to do that.

Winter

@Tester
"And so was a lot of stuff that sounded cool on paper and never gained mainstream acceptance."

I heard the same in 1993 when the WWW was introduced, and earlier with email, and later with mobile phones.

AI and autonomous systems are the logical next step (at least to mine big data?), and conversational agents are part of it. And the seamless human-computer interface would still be fully fluent speech where the agent can initiate a conversation and provide butler services (domotica). It seems that all the players are trying to get their terminal into the home to be ready for that development.

Obviously, the current crop of appliances will be worthless, just as the first Web sites were worthless.

Winter

@Tester&RottenApple
"I have seen the toxic waste of privacy invading 'services' that get built into them "

The TechnoReligion of Silicon Valley thinks it can solve all social problems with technology. However, many problems are political or legal in nature and can only be solved using political and legal means. Privacy is one of these problems.

It is good to see that the EU is trying to move in the right direction on the Privacy point with the new General Data Protection Regulation (the feared GDPR, google it). But it will take some time to see whether they will succeed.

Tester

@Winter:

"Obviously, the current crop of appliances will be worthless, just as the first Web sites were worthless."

Yeah, that's the main problem right now. But there's one difference: Making a non-worthless website wasn't particularly hard and could even be done by laypersons, provided they were given the means. This time all lies in the hands of the industry and their motivations are on an entirely different level that's - said bluntly - extremely at odds with the interests of normal people.

Plus, unlike with the WWW or other recent inventions, this time I sense a genuine feeling of fear about AI - thinking computers have been great villains in movie history, after all. Do you want Skynet in your home? I sure won't.

This may be a logical next step from a technological point of view but the industry needs to do a lot of convincing that it's not evil. So far they have been failing miserably with their constant privacy violations even in much more restricted scenarios.

And let's not even start about security. An IoT that's wide open to hackers (because if that stuff has to be sold for prices normal people can afford, some obviously needs to be saved on service to ensure profitability) is not going to fly, and for AI that's even more important that this stuff is SECURE.

paul

@Tester & Winter

The idea of Google Home, Amazon Alexa, etc. is that they offer a voice interface. AI is just a way to offer that voice interface. AI in those units is not for having a smart discussion. So basically, Amazon Alexa and Google Home can become "home mobile phones" (when they will offer the voice calls) with voice as interface (thru AI). Anyway most of the people use their computers and mobile phones mainly for communications so it is not far stretch to see that the main role of Amazon Alexa and Google Home will be to allow communications (that is voice calls over mobile-networks/Skype/Facebook/Wifi/etc., read and receive text messages like SMS, Facebook, etc., listen music/radio/etc.) thru voice interface. AI is more than ready now to act as a voice interface.

So the point of Google Home and Amazon Alexa is not the AI, it is the voice interface which they offer.

paul

I would say that in 5 years from now devices like Amazon Alexa, Google Home which would have the main function as communication (voice-calls/text-messages) thru voice interface would have a market share around 0.5-1% of the whole mobile phone market.

Tester

@paul:

" AI is more than ready now to act as a voice interface."

Yes and no. For this to really work out it cannot be that all the processing is done on some remote server, that's a gigantic privacy concern. To really become acceptable it needs to process the commands locally and *privately*. Big chance that the industry wants that...

Also let's not forget that many people have such bad pronounciation that the results of voice recognition can actually be quite funny.

paul

@tester

> For this to really work out it cannot be that all the processing is done on some remote server, that's a gigantic privacy concern.

That is not a relevant issue. The same can be said about emails, that are a huge privacy concerns because they are stored on some server.

> To really become acceptable it needs to process the commands locally and *privately*.

Again this is not relevant. This is like saying the email in order to become acceptable needs to be process locally and privately. Google Home and Amazone Alexa are already here and there has not been raised privacy concerns more than in email's case or Android's case.

Tester

@paul:

The difference is that most of what people are doing with any kind of current communication only encompasses a small slice of their life.

But if some centralized server is going to process anything you do at home they can build a 100% accurate profile of your personality. And let's be honest: The goal of this stuff is to become the centerpiece of everybody's life.

If all people are this ignorant, in 20 years, companies like Google, Amazon and Apple will control you, not the other way around.

paul

@Tester

> The difference is that most of what people are doing with any kind of current communication only encompasses a small slice of their life.

I was talking about future and I gave a prediction of 0,5-1% of mobile phone market in 5 years from now. So yes, 0,5-1% is a small slice.

> But if some centralized server is going to process anything you do at home they can build a 100% accurate profile of your personality. And let's be honest: The goal of this stuff is to become the centerpiece of everybody's life.

This is a roadblock for Google Hoem and Amazon Alexa as much it is for Facabook, Gmail, Google, Android, etc.

> If all people are this ignorant, in 20 years, companies like Google, Amazon and Apple will control you, not the other way around.

Already Google, Amazon, Apple, Facebook control you. Already these know a lot about you today in year 2017 in order to control you (or even blackmail you).

Winter

@Tester
"But if some centralized server is going to process anything you do at home they can build a 100% accurate profile of your personality."

How do you think the EU data protection regulations are going to affect this trend? As Bruce Schneier is saying, personal data is becoming a toxic asset.

Facebook was already fined $110M over misleading the commissiin about Whatsapp data. The new regulation talks about fines in the order of 5% of global turnover.

Tester

@Winter:

He's right but as always, it may take a long time to sink in with people whose primary concern in life is money.

How this will turn out is hard to tell, especially when you consider that most countries do not have this anywhere on their agenda. One thing is sure: Shrugging it off like paul does is not the right way to proceed.

paul

The Nokia 6 is coming to the US in July for $229

https://www.theverge.com/circuitbreaker/2017/6/26/15872832/nokia-6-hmd-global-amazon-july-2017-229

Jim Glu

Hi Catriona - I think at 10 years it's a great time to discuss the overall success of the iPhone. From what I've watched in the American press, are too many folks who hadn't been paying attention to the smartphone market before the iPhone. Nobody even mentions Nokia in the US coverage, rather Blackberry is mentioned as the phone the iPhone obsoleted.

I'll pick what I think are the two biggest factors, one unsung and one derided, of the success of the iPhone.

Apple had built up a good sized base of early adopter customers that could be counted on to buy the original iPhone despite it's many shortcomings against the existing competition. While these people are derided as iSheep - they are really the just rewards of Apple's decades of pleasing it's customer base. It's a huge advantage that is reliable and unmatched by anyone else. 10 years later and somewhere around 600M active iPhone users and it's really hard to stick with the "iSheep" explanation of Apple's ongoing success. But 10 years ago, a 2G device with no video, only 2mp camera, no keyboard phone with a marginal call quality and terrible battery life....could still be reliably predicted to sell in the millions to Apple's built in early adopter fan base.

Because this - we get to the second unsung feature of Apple that made the iPhone successful over the existing competition: Apple negotiated a deal with Cingular (now AT&T) that let Apple treat Cingular's network like a dumb pipe. No Cingular branding on the phone. No Cingular apps pre-installed. No Cingular services. The Cingular executives agreed that they could give Apple the "running on our network" specifications and nothing else.

This had never been allowed to any other manufacturer on any other network. The Telco's told the manufacturers what specs to have at what price points. When RIM execs saw the iPhone they exclaimed "We were never allowed to build a browser like that" (among other things the RIM execs said in private).

The mass market modern era smartphone is the result of Android, of course. Yet without Apple having the built in base of reliable early adopters...Apple could never have negotiated the agreement with Cingular that let the iPhone be the iPhone. And over the next couple years, that fan base was a battering ram against the likes of Verizon, DOCOMO and China Mobile...the most powerful networks and the longest hold outs. Carrier after carrier were forced to welcome the iPhone as soon as the exclusivity agreements ran out. They were losing their best customers to their competitors who had the iPhone. They HAD to agree to those same "dumb pipe" terms Apple worked out with Cingular - even had to agree to built in volume requirements.

It is Apple that transformed the relationship between handset maker and Telco to allow the modern "computer in your pocket that has a phone app" to exist.

The rest can be debated...but these two factors were the most critical components to the success of both the iPhone and Android that soon followed...that transformed our lives these past 10 years.

Abdul Muis

Your story only valid in USA and some other country.

In different part of the world, carrier don't have any power at all. Because no one buy phone from carrier.

Asko

@Jim Glu
Baron95, is that you?

Muva Technologies


Apple is really paying very little attention to html 5 these days. So that is another way apple might face problems. The iOS development is emerging day by day. The good iOS developers like https://muva.tech might fulfil the increased demand. Thank you.

Muva Technologies

Offline capable web apps are harder to manage for the end user. It's not just a single click to install them and another single click to uninstall. Also if the user clears the browser from all data, the installed web apps are also cleared. So Web App Development mus be done efficiently.

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