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Understanding The Benefits And Risks Of AI And IoT At Home

Computer scientist and venture capitalist Eric Daimler said our behavior will need to change as AI and IoT devices constantly collect data and make guesses about who we are as consumers.

As humans adapt to and use various forms of artificial intelligence, we need to be aware of how and when devices around us are collecting data. That's the advice from Eric Daimler, a former White House Presidential Innovation Fellow and a partner at Squared Capital.

Daimler spoke at the 2017 MassIntelligence conference, held by Mass TLC in Boston. Daimler's keynote focused on AI applications, from challenges in implementation to potential impact on employment.

’We don’t really have a mechanism to track what data is being communicated about us when it's being collected at this level,’ said Daimler.

He explained that humans don’t know how to express discomfort or displeasure with something collecting our data. How do we enforce boundaries? How do we determine where this information is actually going, who is seeing it, and how is it really being used? These are all questions Daimler urged audience members to consider during his keynote.

"The way we are going to have to adopt this is by viewing it as a type of hygiene," he said. "We have to make sure that when interacting with robots, our privacy is shielded." He talks about what many would consider innocent behaviors, like sitting in a movie theater, for example. "Though it may be innocent, I realize I just don’t want this to be part of the web," said Daimler.

Many now think twice before openly revealing their geographic location (even on smart watches and personal devices) because of this inability to track exactly where the data is going.

Some of the questions we must ask ourselves, especially as companies pushing these products out to consumers are: How do I trust what you’re doing? Who is actually authenticating the behavior of these devices? How do I trust the movements of a robotic device? Do I trust the brand that owns the technology?

Daimler proposed that companies could limit the level of risk that would occur if something were to go wrong by how they handle and share the data they collect. "The likely solution is having distinct points of data instead of large databases. So, if you had a breach or a large point of failure, the world wouldn’t come crashing down, so to speak."

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