The lawsuit filed against Amazon’s Alexa Voice Services this past Tuesday fascinates me. It alleges that Amazon is recording children who use Alexa without parental consent. Excuse me? Mom or Dad bought the Echo, put it in the house, and taught the kids to talk to it. How much more parental consent do you need? That said, there is more to the story.
In a rare show of bipartisan unity this past Wednesday, Republicans and Democrats on the House Oversight Committee expressed concerns over the rapid spread of facial recognition software used by technology companies. This should make you stop and think very long and hard about what your elected leaders do not understand about the world we live in.
Cumulus Media confirmed that New York City's iconic FM radio station 95.5 PLJ will sign off for the last time on Friday, May 31. Clearly, there was no longer a profitable business to be made using FM radio broadcasting technology to aggregate and monetize the PLJ audience. Radio stations change ownership all the time and, as you know, media M&A has become a blood sport in the past 24 months. Still, this particular sign-off signals something significant.
Wikiality, “the best narrative wins,” has all but replaced reality. Fiction often replaces facts. Lies are harder and harder to separate from truths. A pure democracy is truly dangerous to powerful people. Narratives are hard to control. Which raises the question, can a constitutional republic (or a bunch of other elected central governments) control a true democracy that is the direct voice of about 55 percent of the global population?
Arthur C. Clarke once said, “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” Can you imagine seeing a technology and completely misunderstanding what it was doing and how it might work?