Can We Get a Better Digital Assistant Without Violating Our Privacy?
J Thoendell stashed this in Tech
I get it. Google doesn’t want to seem any more creepy than it has to to stay competitive. Most people don’t realize just how much information companies like Google and Facebook have about us. When Google first unveiled Now there was a bit of shock. How can they know about this kind of stuff? They know where I work and when I should leave? Is this not violating my privacy? Then most users settled in and let Google take control, because for most people convenience is more important than privacy.
For a long time I have been assuming that Apple’s future may be in trouble, not because they will stop making amazing products, but because of their stance on privacy. Then WWDC 2015 happened. Apple announced a bunch of Siri integration that does a lot of predictive work to guess what information you might need or want and all of it is done without storing your data in the cloud. It’s nothing short of astonishing, not because of the features, but because they are doing this without a gigantic database of information about you.
Throughout the WWDC keynote, Apple announced several new features and ended with the refrain, “You’re in control.” It’s another obvious shot at Google, but I think it’s an important one. While Google has made it much easier to control what personal data of mine they retain to use their services, I honestly had never considered if Google could make just as powerful of services without my information. I was assuming it was impossible until now. I still think it’s incredibly difficult, but maybe we can keep control of our data and still have incredibly helpful AI, too.