Today you can buy a DIY device from Google that’ll let you build your own tiny computer. These little kits are called AIY Voice Kit and AIY Vision Kit, complete with “Made by you with Google” stamped on their sides. But wait, didn’t you just delete your Facebook because they weren’t up front about all your data they were using to serve you advertisements? Hold on here just a minute!
Google AIY stands for “Do-it-yourself artificial intelligence.” That’s DIY (do it yourself) mixed with AI (artificial intelligence). These devices work with image recognition using neural networks and voice recognition with the Google Assistant.
“With our maker kits, build intelligent devices that see, speak, and understand,” said the AIY site. “Then start tinkering. Take things apart, make things better. See what problems you can solve.” Google’s two devices are set to be made available at Target online immediately if not soon.
The idea seems really cool, smart, and fun. Included in pre-made ideas for these kits are: Face Detector, Dog/Cat/Human Detector, Dish Classifier (food), Google Image Classifier, Image Classifier, and Nature Explorer. And all of the data these devices see or hear is sent to Google to make their learning services better.
We’ve got two directions to go at this point. In one direction, we trust Google implicitly and allow them to make ever-more-personalized services with which they’ll serve us in every way imaginable. In the other direction is a realization that Google is one of several companies that aim to tie themselves inextricably deeply into our lives, down to the point at which we cannot live without them.
If you lament your inability to simply quit Facebook cold turkey now, just wait. Wait until you see how difficult it is to quit your trusted personal assistant a few years from now. This is just the beginning.