We’re all used to the old cliché, that Facebook knows you better than you know yourself, and can tell that you’re pregnant, weeks before you find out. But it’s still something of a shock when Google predicts that you’ll need another job, even before you’ve been fired!
Now it’s being taken to another level, and Alexa, Siri and Google literally know what you’re thinking, even before you’ve expressed those thoughts. Which is a useful way of pre-marketing, to put products and services in front of you, before you’re even fully aware that you need them.
Not everything about these AI assistants’ precog abilities is bad; like when they call emergency for you, even before you collapse on the kitchen floor. Sometimes it’s great to have a big brother, or friendly uncle, looking out for you. But sometimes, not so much.
Like when Alexa rats you out to your spouse, or Siri confirms that you’re lying about that tub of ice cream missing from the freezer. Worse yet, someone calls the cops, because they think they know what you’re thinking, even though you haven’t done anything wrong – yet!
It’s not only personal relationships that are getting messed up by mindreading AIs. Can you really expect a used car salesman not to push his luck? Or a financial adviser, lawyer, marketer or business consultant not to exude confident assurance, despite their personal doubts?
Problem is, your phone can tell what they’re thinking, and that’s bad for business – their businesses!