Sometimes the panic is so high that it reminds me of that guy on the street corner with the sign proclaiming "THE WORLD IS ENDING!!"
The title of the article is: If Google’s right about AI, that’s a problem for Apple
"But if Google’s right, there’s no quick fix. It won’t be enough to buy Siri’s creators again or partner with Yelp for another few years. If Apple needs strong AI and big-data services in the next decade to remain competitive, they need to have already been developing that talent and those assets, in-house, extensively, for years. They need to be a big-data-services company. Their big-data AI services need to be far better, smarter, and more reliable than they are.And I just don’t see that happening. Becoming a major big-data AI services company doesn’t happen completely in secret and suddenly get released to the world, completed, in a keynote. It’s a massive undertaking, spanning many years, many people, and a lot of noticeable interaction with the world. It’s easier to conceal the development of an entire car than a major presence in AI and services."
There are a lot of disclaimers about "if Google is right or Google is wrong", so he is just pointing out that if gathering tons of your data becomes necessary to keep customers, then Apple is too far behind to catch up. Duh! If people simply decide to stop buying anything iOS, the that would be bad for Apple, too.
If Google is Wrong
Personally, I think this is as probable as people flocking in mass from a service that respects their privacy to a service that wants to put a three thousand pound parrot on their shoulder that watches their every move twenty four hours a day.
Below is a video of the type of thing that many people currently shrug off that could be very damaging to Google's brand in a different political environment:
If Apple is Wrong
However, if people decide that they need features that can only be obtained by giving away all their privacy, then Apple will fall behind, assuming that the rest of the features Apple offers aren't more important than these specific AI features.
No two ways around it,Apple has been harping on the fact that they don't want your personal data and are willing to work around it to accomplish their goals:
"Our business model is very straightforward: We sell great products We don’t build a profile based on your email content or web browsing habits to sell to advertisers. We don’t “monetize” the information you store on your iPhone or in iCloud. And we don’t read your email or your messages to get information to market to you. Our software and services are designed to make our devices better. Plain and simple."
In other words, I, like many others, would need a very compelling reason to leave Apple at this point. I am not saying that Google won't come up with that very compelling reason, but nothing I have seen so far makes that move worth it. Trust me, I am quite aware that there are useful features on Android phones that we are missing on iOS (some are waterproof, widgets, customization, etc). However, it just isn't compelling enough to leave the at this point.
The question is how much giving up privacy in exchange for AI would change current lifestyles? Personally, I just don't think it can provide a drastic change. Let's say I searched for Phillips Hue lights on Google this morning. They now have that information. What can they do to make my life easier? Maybe suggest a cheap place to buy it? Can't they do that from the search engine?
Let's say that I was texting with my girlfriend about eating streak for dinner, do I really need them to butt into our conversation (which I believe could get really annoying) and ask if we want to make reservations at a restaurant between where I am and where she is? I don't think it would help because both of us are heading home after work and we are more likely to eat at a place near home. Maybe it knows that and suggests a place near our home? Guess what, I already know the places around the house and most of them don't take reservations. Then what? In other words, what are they learning about me that helps make my life so much easier that I am willing to throw away the Apple Ecosystem and my privacy?
It is an interesting subject for sure. At the end of the day, I am simply more comfortable with the way Apple does things right now. I am not saying Google is bad, but it just makes me feel slightly less comfortable, so I will stick with iOS until a huge change takes place ( something of the magnitude that had me switch to the iPhone from the Palm Treo). I am betting that it won't happen, but you never know...Google could be right! Of course, monkees could fly...