Paraphrased; “Now, imagine a world where tech devices know our bodies. A world where devices start by recognizing your thumb or your voice; then they learn to recognize your friends’ voices, recognize the way you walk. Imagine if those devices put that information together with information about your location and the appointments on your calendar. Imagine a world where devices get to know you as a human being.” Genevieve Bell in Scientific American.
In the Scientific American article, Ms Bell explains what it means for humans to have true human-gadget, not interactions, but relationships. The interactions we currently have is where we use our objects to achieve certain objects. Attempts have however started to have gadgets do things for us without requiring us to send in requests for those services.
Think of the changes that have happened in Google Search over the years. We started using Google Search by basically typing the exact words (key words) we intended to search for in early 2000s where words like “of”, “in”, “and”, “or”, and similar articles and connecting words were omitted to after 2005 where we were allowed to include them to today where we basically search for ideas rather than key words. A few weeks ago Google introduced a new search algorithm code named hummingbird, which has gone a step closer to Latent Search. In simple language, Latent Search will be the ability for search engines to truly understand the meaning of sentences, including being able to understand sarcasm. For instance Facebook is working on a learning search algorithm that will be able to know that if you comment on your friend’s baby photos that, “we understand your baby is so cute, please upload 100 more albums” it means you really do not want to see any more of the baby’s pictures.
As a starting point for the human tech gadget relationships Apple’s Siri can now engage you in a meaningful conversation and do more searches whereas Google has Google Now, a product that is able to give important information that you may need at your particular circumstances without you having to ask first. In the US, Google Now is able to tell you the time a train or a bus will arrive just as you arrive at the bus/train station. Google Now gives you approximate distance left to home whenever you leave home and shows photos of places nearby whenever you travel to a new town.
Google and Facebook are investing more into acquiring user information by disabling privacy settings by the day. The purposes of their attempts to acquire as much information as possible from their users is so that they can tailor ads to users’ interests, lifestyle and activities online. The knowledge they acquire will help them deliver tailored services that will make human relationship to tech gadgets materialize sooner than later.
There are already projects running at connecting everything from plants in the fields to light-bulbs in basements to smart chips. The connected “everything” will work to provide important information seamlessly to human targets without having to ask, at time. Hence I don’t think it is far off to a time when I will come home and experience a real dialogue between me and the Hi-Tech TV:
TV: Hi Washington, how was your trip to Nairobi?
Washington: Very entertaining, I met some really cool people.
TV: Sure, you talked with Jane about this new business, do you want to review it now?
Washington: Mmmm, yeah but in 15 minutes. (After 25 minutes), Can you please give me some of those business plans?
TV: Opens related business plans (Washington downloads one).
Washington: Any similar businesses around the world? What are their success stories?
TV: There was a feature in Business News Network yesterday on a similar business in Mombasa. Sorry you missed it as you were out on a trip, do you want a replay?
Washington: Of course….(thanks connected gadgets).
And you can talk about drinks, cool music, bad attitudes, friends, pets, gardening, bla bla bla. Or something along the lines of Ms Bell’s trail of thoughts:
“Oh, Genevieve, you’re in New York, we know you like coffee, and we’re going to take you to a place that serves flat whites because we know you’re ridiculously attached to your Australian coffee.”
“Listen, there is a piece of art at the [Museum] that is transcendental, and it will make you weep.”? I know that’s not what you’re expecting, but that’s where I’m going to take you now.”
Then Ms Bell concludes, “That piece—the algorithm for delight, the algorithm for surprise—you crack that code, and I think it will be magic.”
>>> Will be cool tech gadgets, right?
— De African (@kenyan_blogger) October 14, 2013