Artificial Intelligence : Progress or Privacy nightmare?

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The advent of artificial intelligence is proving to be of monumental impact in a multitude of fields. The innovative applications have elevated convenience levels from good to better and then to best. The customized services especially, which have proved to be the scoring points of a variety of successful companies owes their growth and profit to artificial intelligence and their personalized algorithms. However, as the saying goes, a coin has two sides, so does any technology or action.

And when it comes t0 AI powered technologies, the crucial question is about privacy. The personalized ads that you see on your device do make you filled with awe and wonder. After all its your choices that are on display even before you have thought about buying them. The possibility of a telepathy is intriguing. However, as we look deep, the concerns and questions rush in and the terrifying logic behind them begins to sow seeds of doubt and fear. We keep on questioning the possibility of AI tools invading the private space.

To be clear, it is an obvious fact that companies have been relying on user data ever since internet came to dominate the tech world. Even after persistent assurance about privacy protection, the tech giants like Amazon, Facebook, Microsoft, Google etc. cannot deny this fact. To prove this point, here is a statement made by Microsoft in 2019,

“We’ve long been clear that we collect voice data to improve voice-enabled services and that this data is sometimes reviewed by vendors.”

This implies that listeners of our personal data includes not just AI, but humans as well. The company also added in the statement that they are working on the privacy policy to add more clarity and that they always ensure that they attain consumer permission before utilizing voice data.

The question is whether we should be willing to have a device that evades every bit of our personal space for the sake of adding personalized ads. The key to this question rests on the fact that the rush one feels after getting their hands on a brand new gadget (even if it violates your privacy), overrides the fear. This minute brain glitch is the working formula of the various devices that depend on personal data.

AI, over the years have become synonymous with change. Some latest additions to this list are Google’s Nest Hub and Amazon’s Echo Show. Both include the similar feature of AI sleep tracking. Impressive on the surface, the devices raise massive privacy questions because of the fact that they include sensors and microphones and cameras to enable microscopic movement detection. Yes, a good night’s sleep is of utmost importance. But the irony strikes with the nights you lose sleep due to the inevitable privacy questions and conflicts that are a part of these devices.

To conclude, AI by definition, is not a threat. It is a harbinger of change that comes with a cost. The good and bad that artificial intelligence is capable of should help customers to draw a line of balance, thereby ensuring that not much is lost in the quest of gaining new things.

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