The Hidden and Observant Ear of Technology

Technology is listening. What will you do about it?

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The Hidden and Observant Ear of Technology

Common tech items can listen into regular conversation

Common tech items can listen into regular conversation

Ethan Jayne

Common tech items can listen into regular conversation

Ethan Jayne

Ethan Jayne

Common tech items can listen into regular conversation

By Ethan Jayne, Santaluces

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Since the revolutionary breakthrough of modern technology, concerns haven arisen about personal security and privacy. Fears of what can happen to a persons identity arose with the rise of social media. Cyberbullying has started to grow, identity thieves can access personal information in more ways than ever now, and people have started to become concerned over their own personal security.

Technological giants have dominated the 21st century. Amazon, Apple, Google, etc. These giants have changed the way we live, our lifestyle, and how we think and learn. Learning is now more interactive than ever before. We, as people, have changed entirely. Phones dominate our lives; video games are seen as one of the biggest past times.

All of these technological advancements lead to one of the biggest breakthroughs in this realm of technology: Artificial Intelligence (AI).

Simplistic versions started helping us out years ago. Apple’s “Siri” would tell us the weather if we held down a home button for a few seconds. As this technology grew, questions turned into conversations and the complexity of questions Siri was able to answer skyrocketed.

As we reach the current age in the realm of technology, simply saying “Hey Siri” activates the personal assistant. In order for this to happen, Siri always has to be listening, and raises an issue with privacy. Is Siri recording all conversations? Selling data?

Apple is not the only company on the scene on AI, however. Google has also implemented similar AI assistants into its operating system, Android. Amazon has also become a powerhouse within the AI scene with its Amazon Alexa line, with products such as the Amazon Echo.

Amazon designs its products to be used in the home, and be used with ease anywhere. Similar to Apple, its products are always listening, waiting for that command “Alexa.”

It is now when we can look into this problem of these products “always listening” to us speak anywhere and everywhere we go. The hidden and observant ears that lie within these products can put fear into anyone, including myself. The approach I take with these products is to not use them at all.

These companies, such as Apple, do state that they keep a users information and searches safe, and encrypted, however.

Ethan Jayne
Students use social media daily, using apps such as Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat

As society we are heading into a fast, developing world. Our use of media and AI seems to be our new way of communicating and controlling the items around us. As we grow, it is important to take a cautious approach to new technology, and the privacy that it may take away.

In the long run, this technology will help us. We will discover new things never thought imaginable, as we grow smarter with our technology and our technology gets to know us better. The hidden ear only helps us in the end. Shaping our actions and making our lives easier. It watches what we search and listen to and makes adaptations for us to get to what we want the fastest. Listening to our wants allows us to reach information easier and makes social media even more engaging.

AI is the future. The best thing to do, whether the ear of technology is present or not, is to sit back and watch where technology takes us far into the future.

This story was originally published on The Tribe on December 19, 2018.