To me, that’s AI: the prediction of what my desired answer is, and the useful summary of the historical data that most humans would internalize. There’s a lot of companies out there that want to build this, but I don’t trust them. They want my data running through their servers — with Siri this could potentially all be done on the device, with anonymous meta-data sent out for quick analysis.
-Ben Brooks, “Artificial Intelligence and What Computers Still Don’t Understand”
I am with Ben on what Artificial Intelligence should look like in the future, as well as who I am willing to trust to give me the desired information. I actually am surprised sometimes how often I use Siri on my iPhone because “she” honestly can’t do that much. Normally, I use the assistant for hands-free navigation and texting, but the other day, my colleague asked me a piece of trivia that I didn’t know.
Me: “Siri, is Mickey Rooney dead yet?”
Siri: “Here is what I found for you. (complete with Wolfram Alpha sheet on Mickey Rooney)”
Me: “How old would that make him?”
Siri: “Here is what I found for you. (complete with Wolfram Alpha math sheet)”
I am not saying that this use is in any way integral to my day, like Ben’s posed scheduling questions, but there are many parts to AI and, just like their OS offerings, Apple is snatching the low-hanging fruit in how they are building their still-in-beta voice assistant. First it was the essential items such as hands-free texting, then it was looking up movies, and now it is wikipedia, search, as well as purchasing and reserving; we can only hope that the service continues to get more robust in what information it can provide us when we ask question, from the fun to the fundamental.
Did the Internet community peak at bookmarks? Asked in a different and perhaps more complete way: just as technologies like RSS and email in their purest forms are hard to beat even as technology marches forward, what better technology exists to keep track of information on the ever-expanding Internet than bookmarks? Taken a step further, what better way to share the bookmarked information than a site of your own? As such, I‘ve been reading, which is why I write now.
Working in and having a passion for libraries, I am struck by the fact that the way bookmarks work in the physical world is not directly analogous to bookmarks in the digital world. Bookmarks in the digital world are instead like dog-eared pages or highlighted passages; if you think of the Internet as a single tome, that is. In any case, anything that moves you to deface a book should probably be shared or become immortalized in some other way than just a reference for a future version of yourself.