Tech Expert Examines The Future Of Personal Assistance Apps

Tech Expert Examines The Future Of Personal Assistance Apps

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Entrusting our nation's defenses to a machine led to the rise of cyborg-assassins, and, very nearly, the demise of mankind, according to movies and comic books.

Handing over our cellphones, and everything on them, to a series of new apps will either terminate the need for us to remember anything on our own or what little privacy we have left. It depends on whom you ask.

"It's too personal. I got too much personal stuff on my phone. I don't want nobody in my business," says one person interviewed on the street.

"I'd be into it. I don't mind. The more technology, the better," says another.

"It's just a question of: What you're willing to let the machine do. And a lot of people have moral, ethical, psychological issues with that," says Shelly Palmer, a technology expert.

"Predictive search services," like Google Now, ReQall, Evernote and others sift through everything your phone accesses: e-mails, calendars, alarms, social media and more.

Those apps then use that information to provide tips and reminders without your prompting.

If the idea makes you a little nervous, just to be around your phone and imagine this scenario: Your device wakes you up before you told it to. It then tells you a faster way to get to a destination you've never plugged into your phone, so you're on time for an event you thought your phone didn't know about."

"Depending on how old you are, you're either going to think this is super cool or super creepy," says Shelly Palmer.

"It's an invasion of privacy. I'd rather manage my own things," says one person on the street.

"I can find my own information myself. I can do it alone," says another.

"I really have nothing to hide, so at this point: Whatever they want to know, sure," says a third.

When your device knows the time and your location and can glean your habits and plans from your digital history, the potential's nearly limitless.

"Predictive is a good word for it, but I prefer to think of it as: This is what a good digital assistant should actually be," says Palmer.

And if we all subscribed to these services, imagine how precisely they could match us with the ads we wanted to see and thus how much money said apps could then sell those ads for.

"Why don't you just hand the world over on a silver platter? Maybe we did."

That's a quote from the movie I, Robot.

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