Your vacation, reservations, and online dates, now chosen by AI: Lock and Code S05E11

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This week on the Lock and Code podcast…

The irrigation of the internet is coming.

For decades, we’ve accessed the internet much like how we, so long ago, accessed water—by traveling to it. We connected (quite literally), we logged on, and we zipped to addresses and sites to read, learn, shop, and scroll. 

Over the years, the internet was accessible from increasingly more devices, like smartphones, smartwatches, and even smart fridges. But still, it had to be accessed, like a well dug into the ground to pull up the water below.

Moving forward, that could all change.

This year, several companies debuted their vision of a future that incorporates Artificial Intelligence to deliver the internet directly to you, with less searching, less typing, and less decision fatigue. 

For the startup Humane, that vision includes the use of the company’s AI-powered, voice-operated wearable pin that clips to your clothes. By simply speaking to the AI pin, users can text a friend, discover the nutritional facts about food that sits directly in front of them, and even compare the prices of an item found in stores with the price online.

For a separate startup, Rabbit, that vision similarly relies on a small, attractive smart-concierge gadget, the R1. With the bright-orange slab designed in coordination by the company Teenage Engineering, users can hail an Uber to take them to the airport, play an album on Spotify, and put in a delivery order for dinner.

Away from physical devices, The Browser Company of New York is also experimenting with AI in its own web browser, Arc. In February, the company debuted its endeavor to create a “browser that browses for you” with a snazzy video that showed off Arc’s AI capabilities to create unique, individualized web pages in response to questions about recipes, dinner reservations, and more.

But all these small-scale projects, announced in the first month or so of 2024, had to make room a few months later for big-money interest from the first ever internet conglomerate of the world—Google. At the company’s annual Google I/O conference on May 14, VP and Head of Google Search Liz Reid pitched the audience on an AI-powered version of search in which “Google will do the Googling for you.”

Now, Reid said, even complex, multi-part questions can be answered directly within Google, with no need to click a website, evaluate its accuracy, or flip through its many pages to find the relevant information within.

This, it appears, could be the next phase of the internet… and our host David Ruiz has a lot to say about it.

Today, on the Lock and Code podcast, we bring back Director of Content Anna Brading and Cybersecurity Evangelist Mark Stockley to discuss AI-powered concierges, the value of human choice when so many small decisions could be taken away by AI, and, as explained by Stockley, whether the appeal of AI is not in finding the “best” vacation, recipe, or dinner reservation, but rather the best of anything for its user.

“It’s not there to tell you what the best chocolate chip cookie in the world is for everyone. It’s there to help you figure out what the best chocolate chip cookie is for you, on a Monday evening, when the weather’s hot, and you’re hungry.”

Tune in today to listen to the full conversation.

Show notes and credits:

Intro Music: “Spellbound” by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 4.0 License
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
Outro Music: “Good God” by Wowa (unminus.com)


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