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There’s a growing drumbeat of worry over the fact that Facebook and Google (as well as Amazon and Apple) know more and more about us every day and might violate our privacy (perhaps unintentionally) in their efforts to continue growing revenues and earnings.
But I’m not worried, and here’s why.
First, I’m confident enough that the increasing attention devoted to the problem will eventually minimize the risk. Contrary Opinion philosophy states that the real thing you should be worried about is what no one else is worried about.
And second, I’m optimistic that as these companies mature, and as the communitarian do-no-evil ethos of millennials gains increasing weight, these companies will find more and more ways to use the vast amounts of information they gather for the common good!
We already benefit substantially from Google’s intelligence, without paying a penny. Information of all sorts is available on demand (and we already take it for granted.)
But I can envision even greater benefits as these giants learn more about us (both individually and communally), and use artificial intelligence to guide us to making ever-smarter decisions in our lives, from the foods we eat, to the media we consume, to the places we go, to the people we socialize with.
The fact is, we are entering the age of artificial intelligence, and this nascent age will be equally as disruptive (in a positive way) as all the previous revolutions in human history, from the agrarian to the industrial to the digital.
I look forward to it!