Do They Ever Stop Listening?

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Everyone has experienced some type of interaction with Artificial Intelligence (AI) before. We use virtual assistants like Siri, Cortana, and Alexa to simplify tasks such as calling friends, sending emails, and turning on the lights in our home. Facial recognition, auto-fill search engines, and social media ads are more examples of how AI technology has become a normal part of our daily routines.

It seemed harmless at first. It started with the ability to unlock your iPhone with your fingerprint, disguised as a new form of security. Today it almost feels like the opposite. You have a private phone conversation with your friend about a wedding you are planning to attend and ten minutes later, you notice there are ads for wedding dresses popping up on your social media platforms. Devices are using our data to become smarter, but the question remains: is it safe?

Concerns about AI

At what point has AI gone too far? Where is the line between helpful and harmful? Voice command features seem useful until the realization hits that the devices are listening to everything you’re saying, without waiting for the voice command or wake word.

The common concern with AI isn’t malevolence, but competence. It isn’t expected that AI will develop feelings such as love or hate, so it shouldn’t intentionally become evil. It is, however, expected to continuously improve and accomplish its goals, so the thought of it doing whatever it takes to get a task done is somewhat concerning. The biggest worry bothering researchers is AI goals misaligning with our own.

The fear of AI and other hackable devices leaking data is a common concern. Digital disruptors like Amazon, Facebook, and Google are all under the microscope for how they use and store the data of their consumers. Facebook is a prime example of recent data misuse among its millions of users.

With the rapid increases we’ve seen in technology over recent years, it isn’t far-fetched that self-awareness AI will come into existence soon. The best way to protect ourselves is to keep our data secure and maintain privacy. Contact us today for help with security solutions.

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