Are you ready, asks Devindra Hardawar , for predictive tech to read your mind? The biggest change in how we interact with computers in years is underway and it requires less input from all but a few techies. It’s way beyond voluntarily tapping or touching the command, input, publish, enter, or send buttons we all use now.
A simple Google search brings up what their algorithms identify as what you likely will use, based on your past selections, not necessarily the range of choices you may want to see. Google Now offers more refined and extensive predictions. Facebook includes ads among posts by family and friends for products and services related to searches you have conducted previously. It’s hard to tell sometimes if your cousin really liked that product with her name on it, if the computer algorithm made the connection, or if you did something that triggered the ad. And have you met Cortana yet on your Microsoft based smart phone?
These phenomena appear as recent steps toward personal assistants at home, in cars, in classrooms, at offices, and during surgery. They appear to offer choices we may make, but which choices do we not make because of these assistants?
Did Dick Tracy and 007 ask for these devices to make their jobs of fighting evil easier, or are our 20th century social ways on the way out to join the buggy whip in museums and sideshows? Off-the-grid-inquiring-minds want to know, yes? So do some of us on the grid. We’re lucky that way!