The (Haunted) House of AI


Boredom vs. Intent (vs. Creepy)

There’s likely no better day than Friday the 13th to write this post.

And, on the heels of Google’s new hardware announcement on October 5th, I feel even more compelled to blog about mobile and The House of AI.

Back in the day when I was the “TV guy” at Sprint in the early 2000s, I learned about what I called, “the mobile consumptive experience”. I know, the term seems pretentious but I must say, Sprint was semi-drenched in outside consultants so I felt it necessary to poke a little fun with the terminology.

What I was trying to relate is that the use of mobile phones had its own set of motivators for usage-of course, outside of communicating. I was after all, in the Mobile Data Products group at Sprint.

I learned to quickly summarize the consumptive experience for live TV and video on phone as “whenever you’re bored” or “when you want to be informed.”

When you were bored you could watch music videos on your Sprint phone.

When you wanted to be informed you could watch the Michael Jackson child molestation verdict live via the cable news feeds which were also in Sprint TV.

(We also had live MLB baseball audio which covers both! LOL)

Today though we find another experience being interjected by the usual suspects-Facebook, Google Apple and Amazon.

And sadly this experience has nothing to do with being bored or the desire to stay informed. Instead, it has to do with their business models of needing to know every scintilla of information about you. It’s their House, right?

For example: Google’s announcement mentioned above includes a camera with no shutter control-it just shoots pictures of seemingly everything around you.

There’s this from MediaPost’s article about Google’s new “toys”:

“There’s no display. There’s a shutter button, but it’s completely optional to use. Instead, it takes pictures for you, using machine learning to recognize and learn faces and look for interesting moments to record,” writes Dieter Bohn for The Verge.

“Do you want a camera in your home, deciding when is a good time to take a photo of you, or your child or spouse, possibly capturing first steps and birthdays, but also so much more? I have a one-year-old, and the idea immediately repelled me; I already feel guilty when I take time out of our regular routine to snap photos, but then, at least, I’m doing it intentionally,” writes Metz.

Apple wants to use your face for “security” reasons.

All of them and more like Samsung’s Bixby and Microsoft’s Cortana have microphones that are always listening (if you’ve allowed them to in Settings on your phone.)

Sadly, the quest for even more data about each and every person on the planet has become WAY MORE IMPORTANT to these folks than just taking care of your needs when you’re bored or want to be informed.

Look, I get it. This is their business model. They need to anticipate your next move via artificial intelligence (AI) so that their flavor of AI attracts the most ad dollars. But increasingly, as pointed out in the articles herein, these business models are fed by things creepier than Jason, Freddy Krueger, Dracula et al COMBINED!

I find this House of AI that they’ve created to BE COMPLETELY LACKING in helping me get exactly what I want, exactly when I want it. They each sell results and the chance for advertisers to be shown in a roster of results. Yawn.

Often my INTENT, other than keeping me informed or occupied in dull moments in life, is to go to exactly what I’m interested in my micro-moment of impulse via my mobile phone.

AI, as they see it, requires their creepy factor(s) while seemingly thumbing their collective noses at the notion of my INTENT.

Do I want them listening to every word within earshot? (Expletive) NO!

Do I want them to put my face in their database for security reasons? NO. (I know my face is on the internet but I would never INTEND TO USE A SERVICE WHEREIN MY FACE WAS REQUIRED for security purposes.)

Do I want a camera recording images willy-nilly without me intending to shoot a picture? NO.

The notion of personal and individual INTENT has vanished. These companies have tried to get us to believe that their quest for AI is in your interest and that this isn’t creepy. They call it AI to make it sound innocuous.

Well the House of AI that we all find ourselves in today has ignored INTENT to the degree that they see us all as a constant stream of data points to be harvested like so many souls on Halloween. BOO!

Dale Knoop leads a great team audaciously attempting to #breaktheduopoly by making TRE the global standard for micro-moment brand engagement. Using voice input of a Qword or phrase or simple numeric code any brand can present their TRE Qword or code in TV, video, video games, radio (anywhere!) or their product packaging and take their customers and brand fans to exactly what they want, exactly when they want it. No searching through results, no foraging around your website-just customer pleasing instant gratification. Oh yeah, and there’s real-time attribution and an ongoing brand immersion. Watch the TRE video on YouTube here.