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From this news story on the CBC


When Brett Gaylor's smartphone broke he made a startling discovery.

The Victoria filmmaker went into Google settings to recover his data and found an audio file containing every voice search made on Google Assistant by his five-year-old son Rowan.

The discovery led to a sobering look at his son's relationship with artificial intelligence — and a short NFB film titled OK Google, animated by Darren Pasemko.



 
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Like the article mentions, it is rather creepy what companies can use that data for. But, more importantly, I think, is the fact that those kids are asking these machines those life questions, rather than their parent. It's great that the kid is doing independant research, but there's so much bonding and chances for deep discussions when kids ask things like "why is the sky blue." And, parents learn a lot, too, when they answer those sorts of questions.

When my son wants to know how a volcano works, I might load a youtube that helps explain it, but I also watch it with him so that I can learn about the subject more deeply, and answer questions and fill in holes in his knowledge. I'm there to pause the video when he seems confused, to replay things for him, to answer his spoken and unspoken questions. A computer can't do that.
 
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It was a bit hard to pin down the subject of discussion, but I assume it's something along the lines of Privacy/Data Usage in Terms of Services + technology's effects on society.

As to the question of what is being done with a year's worth of voice clips in the film, or any searches - data-mining.

A slight off-point after watching the film: Kids yelling into phones making demands; wonder how many problems that will cause when they have to interact with the rest of human society (let alone their parents). Reminds me of the whole Caillou debate.

Nicole Alderman wrote: It's great that the kid is doing independant research, but there's so much bonding and chances for deep discussions when kids ask things like "why is the sky blue."



As someone who spent a lot of their time after high school around 60+ year olds, the experiences told through stories in reply to questions asked are something that can not be emulated by any amount of AI intelligence. Siri is never going to say "that reminds me of this one time I was...". Stories make knowledge more memorable, not to mention it's more entertaining, and usually because of a relationship with the person also more meaningful.
 
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That was a scary film.  I wonder why the child has access to the parents phone at all?

We were given an Alexa....we would never have thought of getting one.  She sits in the kitchen for some pandora radio while cooking or doing dishes and I use frequently for a timer because I can hear it in the next room.  My husband likes to listen to NPR also.  We linked into our wifi and never signed up for the monthly rate for more music, etc....this is enough/plenty for us and as I said nothing we would have ever thought of purchasing.  We can ask for the current weather but she insists we live in Georgia so it doesn't do much good.

Our grandson, though, loves to ask the thing questions and rapid fire, hardly waiting for the answers.  Fortunately it's not something one could put in their pocket and have with them all of the time.  I think the novelty is beginning to wear thin for him already.

one more thought...I'm noticing that phones aren't put away anymore...folks walk around, shop, etc with them in their hand (at the ready?) whether they're talking on them or not.  I wonder what that feels like to be so attached to that little bit of electronics? 
Our son got us a basic one and pays a minimum for us on his plan because he thinks we need one.  It is charged up, turned off and (I think) in the glove box of the car. I can see having it for a road emergency as neither of us is up to changing a tire anymore.
 
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Judith Browning wrote:...I'm noticing that phones aren't put away anymore...folks walk around, shop, etc with them in their hand (at the ready?) whether they're talking on them or not.  I wonder what that feels like to be so attached to that little bit of electronics? 



I'm seeing an upside to this:  The sci-fi writer Clifford D. Simak in the early 1950s wrote a book ("City") in which humans became so interactive and addicted to their computers that they stopped reproducing.


But I have to laugh at my place of work when all of the youngsters are talking to "Siri" or Google on their phones and asking questions that impact the projects they are working on.  I've told them now that if they want to ask me a question pertaining to their project to call me "Sammy" so as not to confuse me with "Siri"....
 
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