I used to use Gmail. But one day, as I typed my mother’s email address into the “To:” field, Google popped up a prompt asking if I also wanted to CC my uncle. That was so invasive and creepy that I deleted the account immediately and never used it again. I don’t want automated intelligence in my private email.
My friend lives in a home full of the smartest technology, and loves getting all the new smart things, but he drives a deliberately retro old car with no computer chips. He loves to tinker with his car, and wants to do any maintenance himself.
Another friend lives in a tech-free rustic cabin with no screens, but drives a Tesla.
I do everything on a broken old Linux laptop, using only the command line, usually offline, nothing in the cloud. I think it’s because I don’t want any outside automation or intelligence in the work that matters to me.
When software is described as “auto-”, “smart”, or “intelligent” it means that somebody else put their rules into it. But I don’t want my computer to do anything I didn’t explicitly tell it to do. It shouldn’t change what I typed unless I tell it to. It should never guess or predict what I want. I want full manual control.
On the other hand, I don’t mind if my phone does these things, because I don’t care about my phone much. And I would love a high-tech car, full of smart AI automation, because I’m not a car aficionado.
At first I thought that an expert at something won’t want assistance. But no, of course, auto-pilot for airline pilots, and IDEs for programmers.
So I think it comes down to:
- how much of an expert you are at controlling this thing yourself
- how much you still enjoy doing it
- if you want the kind of assistance it provides
Any thoughts on this subject? I’d love to hear another point of view.