Why Google Is Suddenly Obsessed With Your Photos – The Ringer
the way Google Photos works now certainly won’t be the same way it functions in the future, and ideas that sound invasive today could be sold as innovative tomorrow. In 2009, one of Google’s annual April Fool’s Day jokes was an AI program that could scan users’ emails and automatically write appropriate responses. In 2015 this far-fetched concept was added to the company’s email app Inbox, and last week it rolled out on Gmail. When Google was first delving into voice recognition, it felt the need to ask users to donate their Google Voice voicemails for research purposes. Today the company saves all voice search queries by default and uses them to train its AI systems. The company tends to argue that these sorts of use cases don’t pose privacy concerns because people’s messages and voices are being screened by a computer, not a human.
The cliché when criticizing free internet platforms has always been “You are the product.” Today a more accurate critique might be “You are the resource.” For a long time we worried that tech giants might sell our private information to the highest bidder. But with Silicon Valley throwing all its efforts into artificial intelligence, data itself has become its own currency. (…)