If you remember watching i-robot movie, you might remember V.I.K.I. – an intelligent software that makes right decision for the survival for human race. Today we are surrounded by number of bots sitting in internet. They are learning about us and we are happily taking their services. I was amazed when first time I saw a book recommendation on amazon online bookstore, which was personalized for my interests. I really bought few books based on those recommendations.
Within less than 10 years we are surrounded by several such applications sitting in data center and watching our interest and behavior. Cloud on Google servers can scan my emails and show me recommended ads on side. My LinkedIn profile can tell me about all the people who may be interesting for me. My Netflix account can tell me recommendation about movies I would like. My Facebook account can tell me about my friends. All they are reasonably accurate too. Every good e-retailers website can recommend product or push interesting coupons to customers. Search engines now can tell me what the possible phrase to search based on location and past searches fro users.
Looking at all this, I can probably say that sometimes these machines know more about me than even myself. They now know about my matching friends before me, they can reasonably predict my preference and choices about books and movies even when I never heard about them. Couldn’t they alter a consumer behavior via pushing coupons or customized message. They are still adviser to us, but we should know that they are gaining trust from us. If adviser know more than the master and has trust, eventually he will make decision on-behalf-of master – who knows next application will enable Netflix to order movie or TV show for customer, without waiting for customer to choose. Could this lead to evolution to something like i-robot’s V.I.K.I.? I do not know answer yet. It may not be as dangerous as we saw in science fictions, but for sure evidences are here to demonstrated that we are leaning towards that direction.