May 2018

Question for @aarron after watching his presentation at #uxlondon: how do we prevent storytelling from becoming propaganda? When does building an internal culture become indoctrination? Plenty of examples to suggest this is often the result.

Google Duplex

Demoed using Silicon Valley’s favourite first-world problem – booking a table at a restaurant in San Francisco – Google Duplex instead opens a can of worms. I agree with Ethan:

I think we’re well past the point where our industry gets a pass for launching products without thinking about their second-order effects.

A related anecdote. Having received far too many robocalls asking if I had been involved in a car accident recently, I took to making beeping noises down the phone to see how far I could progress through these annoying and false conversations. One day I almost – almost – started to do this before realising a real person was calling about a genuine issue. Had I made those funny noises, not only would I have been deeply embarrassed, it would have been pretty demeaning for the person on the other end of the line.

In a society where truth and trust are a scarce resource, this appears to be an incredibly foolish product to be bringing into the world. Talking of trust; I have zero faith Google will do the right thing with this technology, rhetoric about transparency or not.