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What the Arrival of A.I. Phones and Computers Means for Our Data

๐ŸŒˆ Abstract

The article discusses how Apple, Microsoft, and Google are promoting new AI-powered smartphones and computers, and the implications for user privacy as these companies require more access to user data to power these AI features.

๐Ÿ™‹ Q&A

[01] Advertisement, Tech Fix

1. What are the new AI-powered features being introduced by Apple, Microsoft, and Google?

  • Apple is introducing "Apple Intelligence", a suite of AI services that can automatically remove unwanted objects from photos, create summaries of web articles, and write responses to text messages and emails. Apple is also overhauling its voice assistant Siri to make it more conversational.
  • Microsoft is introducing "Copilot+ PC" laptops with AI-powered features like generating images and rewriting documents. It is also introducing "Recall", a system that takes screenshots every 5 seconds to help users quickly find documents, emails, and websites they've accessed.
  • Google announced an AI-powered scam detector for phone calls that listens in real-time and alerts users to potential scams. It also introduced "Ask Photos" which allows users to ask questions about their photos, though this requires sending the photos to Google's servers.

2. What are the privacy concerns with these new AI features?

  • To power the new AI features, the companies require more persistent and intimate access to user data across apps, websites, and communications. This raises privacy concerns as more personal data may need to be transmitted to the companies' servers.
  • There are risks that this data could be accessed by others, including company employees, bad actors, and government agencies, even if the companies claim to have security measures in place.
  • Experts warn that any data leaving the user's device is inherently less secure, even if the companies claim to have safeguards like encryption.

3. How are the companies addressing privacy concerns?

  • Apple says it is striving to process most of the AI data directly on users' devices to prevent others from accessing the information. For tasks that require cloud processing, Apple says it uses encryption and immediately deletes the data.
  • Microsoft postponed the release of its "Recall" feature that takes screenshots every 5 seconds, due to security concerns raised by experts about the potential risks of that data being hacked.
  • Google says its AI features have a "privacy-protecting approach" and that user data is locked down with encryption and access protocols. However, experts feel Google's approach to AI privacy is relatively opaque.

[02] Conclusion

1. What is the author's overall stance on whether users should trust these companies with more of their data? The author says they plan to "wait and see whether the technologies work well enough before deciding whether it's worth it to share my data." The author emphasizes the importance of understanding what will happen to user information when using these new AI tools, and expresses concerns about the privacy risks involved.

Shared by Daniel Chen ยท
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