Tuesday, 25 July 2017

dustbin, doxbin

Though generally only perceived as a vaguely threatening presence by pets, it turns out that for the past few years robotic vacuums, in their quest to optimise navigating the terrain of one’s home, have also been collecting that telemetry and reporting back to the mother-ship in order for those maps to be sold on to marketers to formulate better-focused furniture advertisements (or scare families into investing in security services) and model virtual smart-houses. Or simply to judge our taste in décor. These domestic double-agents that we welcome into our lives highlights one way that technologies are no longer ours to exploit and benefit from as tools, but rather the merchants of attention undermine our relationship with computers and machines by supplanting it with some Pavlovian bond of button-mashing and push-notifications. What do you think? Albeit arguably robot vacuums are a time-saving convenience but coordination and connectedness come with a cost and perhaps the autonomous appliance market is reaching its true economical zenith—again, not as an instrument or amusement but as pusher, staking out its beat, like that craze with augmented reality games which helped plot out previously uncharted demographics.