“Contextual Computing” is gradually taking over the World. When you get up in the morning, before you even tap it, your phone can tell you the current weather and the week’s forecast, remind you of your appointments for the day and coming business trips. I am also sure that your Wife can also find a way to highlight that her Birthday is coming up; and what she would like. Doctor’s appointments, coming Family Events, important sports team games, weather forecast for Saturday’s golf game…DITTO!
As you set-off for work, your SmartPhone can advise you of traffic delays, suggest alternative routes and note your son’s or daughter’s soccer (or whatever) game tonight–and the time and place. Depending on your travel route, GPS will enable it to suggest a special on your favorite donuts–to take into the office–by consulting on-line coupon specials.
The linked article, from NY Times, goes into a bit more detail, http://www.nytimes.com/2014/05/08/technology/personaltech/the-app-that-knows-you.html?emc=edit_ae_20140508&nl=todaysheadlines&nlid=64667462. But, when you think about it, doesn’t all of this thinking for us really take the “Human” out of Humanity? Also, now that we are both retired, my Wife would lose her most important job, huh?
Now, what if some hackers wanted to tap into your SmartPhone? They would know more about than even you do. They could kidnap you and hold you hostage. Competing businesses could read your Email or send you to wrong addresses for business appointments or, perhaps, send improper Emails to your Boss–or to His/Her computer. And, maybe it just won’t let you chose a restaurant based on spontaneity, and the smell of the aromas as you walk past. You can’t upset your computer app, can you?
This overaggressiveness of Contextual Computing brings back memories of the 1983 movie “War Games”. In it, a young teenage computer hacker got into a Top-Secret U.S. military supercomputer and was playing Thermonuclear War. Now, 1983 was during the “Cold War”, and the US computer started playing directly with its counterpart in the USSR. And, they had locked all humans out!
Due to an on-going ear problem, I am restricted to our landline. Call it the “DumbPhone”, if you like. Now, I may miss a doctor’s appointment or forget something at the supermarket; BUT…at least I don’t have to worry about my steroid-charged phone taking over the World. SLEEP WELL TONIGHT, HUH?
NOTE: In all honesty, my Wife is not really the bossy type. In fact, she even bought her own Mother’s Day present. Besides, I really don’t need to worry: she never reads my Blog.