Digital Marketing Manager
As a self-proclaimed technology nerd, I’m always excited when a company as large as Google releases a new product. The vast amounts of financial and intellectual capital at their disposal are huge, to say the least, and therefore, I believe that they have a very exciting foundation on which to innovate.
In the case of Allo, I’m a little disappointed this time around. Not necessarily by the technology (although there are a few platform improvements I’d suggest) but by the slippery slope of technologically advanced human communication.
The following quote below is straight from the product press release:
If your friend sends you a photo of their pet, you might see Smart Reply suggestions like “aww cute!” And whether you’re a “haha” or “😂” kind of person, Smart Reply will improve over time and adjust to your style.
This upsets me.
In my mind, depth of communication is one of the most important things that defines us as human beings. Whether the communication is good or bad, intelligent or stupid, is another thing entirely; but at least we have the ability to formulate thought and express them in a way other than grunts.
Now, with Allo, you share your communication style with a machine learning algorithm and it tells you the easiest — and most typical— way to respond. And to me — this challenges my core belief that communication is special.
Throughout human history we have shown an general interest in the easy way. As technology advances or needs evolve, we often get lazy and lose sight of what makes something valuable or at the very least, personal.
To pose an extremely exaggerated question for the sake of making a point: Will personalized communication become like a stick-shift car? Or a non-autonomous car? Will the handwritten word eventually become something that only a handful of nostalgia ridden people engage in?
The question I ask you is:
Do you think Allo and machine-enhanced communication are positives for the human race?
Thanks for reading and I hope you chime in with your thoughts.
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