Google Home is here! Be ready for a 24/7 Nanny or Butler - howsoever you may want to look at this intrusion and/or convenience. We envision it to eventually TELL YOU (what to do) or answer to all your needs, and also monitor and learn of everything about your life and lifestyle, and monetize that learning. The voice-activated virtual assistant will play your music, answer your questions, search, and read news for you will, and was launched last week.
Earlier, Google’s learning was limited to what you searched for using their search engine on the web, it then progressed to knowing (and storing that data) a little more through the free Gmail service and your messages, and then knowing even about your exact location, preference for restaurants/cuisine etc., with the mobile apps (Google Maps), and whatever you searched for while on the go and in the office. Now with Google Home (available in Fall 2016), even when you are not on the web or using one of the Apps, Google will know about your lifestyle and life, learn about you and know a lot more about you than even your significant other (or maybe even your own self!). So are you ready for this Trojan Horse, that looks like an innocent smart speaker (to begin with)?!
Google will thus be omnipresent in your life and you will be watched by the “Big Sister” Google - 24/7
Paranoia?! To answer this, you have to understand that Google’s inherent business model is not “search” or its philanthropic distribution of free apps, but “Advertisement”. Its not the “Mad Money” advertisement creator business, but rather an "Advertisment Linker” business – where it makes money at both ends of the spectrum. So Google shows advertisements related to whatever you search for (type in) within the Google search bar, and makes money when you click on those advertisements or makes purchases through those. Google also makes money on the supply side - by selling relevant/contextual advertisement space to various businesses – promising to display their ads whenever someone is looking (searching) for a similar product or service. Thankfully, Google as a company has not given us any reason to not trust them with the privacy of our data (Google searches, gmail conversations etc.) and has (or seems to, so far) their ethics and moral responsibilities sorted out and their "heart in the right place", but can we say that for all our digital data and for all the companies that have access to it or are collecting it...and for how long? It is a ticking time-bomb...
So the “Google Home” will eventually let Google know almost everything about you, how you live, your living preferences, and will then tailor advertisements and suggest products and services around your need at that moment, around your location. As a more palatable scenario - they will predict a need for a haircut (and display ads of the nearest 5 hair salons), or the need for milk & groceries (display ads or sell (doorstep delivery)), offer to make payments for bills due (using their financial gateway)…and more. Amazon with Amazon Echo has already been working on a similar strategy to ensure that you purchase products from Amazon even without visiting their website. And recent article discussed how Facebook would generate ads based on what you are talking about or watching on the television, by listening via the microphone on your smartphone!
Google will thus be omnipresent in your life and you will be watched by the “Big Sister” Google - 24/7, even when you are not on the web or using one of their apps! So are you ready for this convenience or intrusion? Are you ready for Google Home and the likes?!
CNET video on Google Home launch (May 18, 2016):