Car-owners heads up!
You may not know it but we spend a large chunk of our waking life behind the wheels.
To prove that, a study was conducted by the Harvard Health Watch which suggests that an average American citizen spends 101 minutes driving each day. If we consider the mean life expectancy (which is 78.7 years old in the study) of a normal American driver, they would have spent more than 37,935 hours on the road driving their automobiles. Or in other terms, that would have been 4.27 years!
It is no doubt that these reliable instruments of steel have been through with a driver all throughout the years. It may have witnessed a lot of your ups and downs as you traverse through life. It has seen you through your happy and joyous times. It also saw you through let’s say your first breakup or greatest rejection at your workplace.
But how would you find it if cars would be equipped with the technology, one day, to understand you and your emotions?
Scientists and other experts are currently working on a piece of technology using artificial intelligence (AI) to read human emotions. Indicators may include your facial gestures which can be detected by several instruments installed in the car – its sensors, cameras, and even microphone. There is even a whole field dedicated to the study of AI and human intelligence called affective computing.
There are a lot of companies, with the likes of Affective, Cerence, and so much more, which propose to offer their AI tech for car manufacturers to integrate with their newer models.
However, Vaness Bates Ramirez of Singularity Hub has shared her concerns regarding this AI system being potentially invasive to one’s privacy.
As we have mentioned earlier, she agrees that she had shared a few tearful moments inside her vehicle and who didn’t, am I right? Well, it’s safe to assume that not only she but a lot of potential drivers might feel awkward for having their personal confines being intruded by a third party company aimed at monitoring them and gathering data about them.
But the companies argue that technology can be helpful to ensure the driver’s safety. For example, if someone is feeling distracted because they are sad, the AI can detect it and give the driver certain precautions during the ride. This may be a good argument however the question on how data is handled by companies is a contentious issue yet to be settled through legislation here in the US (but our friends over at Europe seem to have gotten it right with a law passed last year).
Yet again here we are at the crossroads, should we choose to let these companies access our privacy in exchange for a ‘safer ride’? It is you, dear reader, who is to decide on that matter.