Talking about Brains, Hardware, and Privacy with Facebook’s Andrew Bosworth

And then after that it’s this giant, I’d say it’s a shrugging emoji, what happens to him after that. So at the end of the day if someone is using a Facebook or Facebook portal, say, the air glasses that can eventually come out, if there are any functions that are happening on the device, but at the end of the day, there is still data being sent to the server, how do you actually give a consumer control over what happens after that?

OF: Well, it’s actually quite simple. Its execution is not, but its execution is simple. On Facebook, you have access to all the data that Facebook has about you and you can delete it individually or collectively. And we take it incredibly seriously. It is obviously a question of politics, of world politics at this stage. So from a data control point of view it is simple, likewise from a sharing point of view it has always been simple. It’s like, who am I sharing it with? Who is the audience? I think both of these kinds of controls are pretty well established that people have on the internet and on devices.

But more generally, look, it’s a question of whether the consumer wants to trade the value? Look, this goes back to Microsoft’s early 2000s. As you install the software it says, “Hey, can I share crash and scan reports with the server to improve the software?” And a lot of people tick that box because they don’t care. They think, “Yes. I understand what it’s for, how it’s going to be used, what the data is and I’m comfortable with that.” And that hasn’t really been a problem for 20, a few years, you’ve been doing it. It’s a really common place.

If you want, take a portal out of the box, if you don’t have one you should, then you can go on and I’ll wait, just kidding. You have a portal out of the box that’s part of the feed, it says, “Hey, when you use our wizard, when you use the wake word,” that’s a really self-explanatory thing, it says, “This must go to the server because that’s where we keep the answers. And that’s how we understand the question. And not just that, it can be reviewed by an AI system or even by a company employee . “And it’s right there written and you say,” Yeah, I accept it. ” Or, “No, I don’t accept that,” if it’s something like what we would call forced choice framework, that’s the user design language you use to describe it.

So everyone who goes through a portal and creates one, goes through this decision. So I think it’s very clear about what it is, why it is, how it’s used, and they have a choice of whether to use it or not to use it. Look, if I could provide the assistant without going to the server, I’d love to, we don’t have the technology. We don’t have the ability to do this locally on the device. We cannot keep all of the world’s knowledge about the device. So alas, it must go to the server. And by the way, we want to keep improving this thing, so that it can end up being heard by entrepreneurs. So if you are not comfortable with this then do not use this feature. Same with Google Fitness, if you don’t think the Google Fit cloud is useful to you then definitely don’t.

If you think it’s not worth the rest of your data, then definitely don’t. You don’t have to. So for me, it’s about letting consumers control the experience they want to have. I think sometimes we infantilize consumers like these are basically smart people, who went out and made money and instead of exchanging that money for a good or a service, they want the use, they want to get value in their life for that, they decide how they do it. So I think from a high level point of view the mechanism is not difficult, the execution is really the key.

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