By James Kwak
Beeping iPads! Buzzing phones! Zapping watches! Soon, apparently, we won’t be able to complete a thought without being interrupted by some “intelligent” piece of technology.
The solution, according to Steven Levy, is yet more technology:
a great artificial intelligence effort to comb through our information, assess the urgency and relevance, and use a deep knowledge of who we are and what we think is important to deliver the right notifications at the right time. . . .
the automated intake of our information will allow us to “know by wire,” as super-smart systems learn how to parcel things out in the least annoying and most useful fashion. They will curate better than any human can.
First of all, I’m skeptical. So is Levy, apparently; just a few paragraphs up, he writes, “the idea of One Feed to Rule Them All is ultimately a pipe dream.” The same factors that make it impossible for one company to create a perfectly prioritized feed make it impossible for one company to create a perfectly prioritized stream of notifications.