Google is betting that people care more about convenience and ease than they do about a seemingly oblique notion of privacy, and it is increasingly correct in that assumption.
Google’s new assistant, which debuted in the company’s new messaging app Allo, works like this: Simply ask the assistant a question about the weather, nearby restaurants, or for directions, and it responds with detailed information right there in the chat interface.
Because Google’s assistant recommends things that are innately personal to you, like where to eat tonight or how to get from point A to B, it is amassing a huge collection of your most personal thoughts, visited places, and preferences … In order for the AI to “learn” this means it will have to collect and analyze as much data about you as possible in order to serve you more accurate recommendations, suggestions, and data.
In order for artificial intelligence to function, your messages have to be unencrypted.
These new assistants are really cool, and the reality is that tons of people will probably use them and enjoy the experience. But at the end of the day, we’re sacrificing the security and privacy of our data so that Google can develop what will eventually become a new revenue stream. Lest we forget: Google and Facebook have a responsibility to investors, and an assistant that offers up a sponsored result when you ask it what to grab for dinner tonight could be a huge moneymaker.