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IPFS News Link • Robots and Artificial Intelligence

Backtalk Highlights The Danger Of A "Digital Assistant"

•, by Bruce Wilds

That is when it happened, to my surprise the damn thing told me something to the effect, "I may only be an AI but you should choose your words wisely." Whether you define this as a warning or stern rebuke, to me it highlighted the danger of AI and the whole tech industry that is slowly putting a chokehold on the freedom of the human race. A digital device being impertinent to its owner is the canary in the coal mine of something very sinister.

Rude or impertinent remarks made in reply to someone in authority is backtalk and different from talk-back. When a mechanical device has a talk-back option it is generally to provide spoken feedback to help the user. A personal digital assistant (PDA) is a portable electronic device used for personal organization and communication. Over the years these devices have expanded their ability as predictive chat-bots. They do this by utilizing advanced computer programs that simulate a conversation with the people who use it. 

Each year more and more companies are using such features in robocalls and for such things as answering phones and for customers to pay a bill or get general information. On the internet, you can find companies that will design for your company a bot in minutes claiming it can start acquiring leads for you and automate several other parts of your communication needs. They tout these Bots' ability to work for you 24/7 delivering qualified leads, speeding up customer resolutions, providing faster answers, and improving customer experience.

For years concern has been growing over the ability of such devices to spy on us in the privacy of our homes and offices. Most of us have read or seen stories of how they listen in on our conversations and hijack even our most private moments. The new alliance between AWS this morning and Twitter only goes to underscore my point of concentrated power. This intersects with censorship and propaganda. The whole idea that we as a society gain by allowing ourselves to be watched for the greater good throws freedom under the bus. It also opens the door the those watching us to blackmail and coerce us into doing their bidding.