Privacy Rights in the Ambient Computing Era | AI News

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Explore some concepts around making ethical choices to help protect privacy.

Read the Success Story: Privacy Rights in the Ambient Computing Era to learn more

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With the growing presence of AI in all things digital, there's a potential privacy rights threat to the essential principles of people and communities. I'm David Shaw. And in this episode of AI News, we explore the concepts around making ethical choices to help protect privacy. The term "ambient computing" first took hold at the end of the century. It refers to electronic environments like smart homes that become sensitive and responsive to the presence of people. 

Social scientists, privacy scholars, and interface designers at Intel are tackling a fundamental question of the fourth Industrial Revolution-- how to balance the escalating presence of ambient computing with the privacy concerns and rights of people using smart technologies. Take a look at this article. It introduces the concept of achieving and maintaining that balance-- for example, placing limits on the disclosure of personal information, including how long this information can legally be retained. 

Another way is to be transparent. People using AI, who willingly approve personal data use, should be given the opportunity to understand what information is being collected, where it goes, how it will be used and by whom, and how long it will be stored. The article introduces research conducted by senior Intel social scientists. From their studies came the idea of homes shifting from black boxes to glass houses. 

In the black box scenario, service providers, retailers, utilities, and other companies know little detail of the exact activities happening in homes. Glass houses enable ambient computing and are adopted by householders. The Privacy in Glass Houses project surveyed the sentiment and concerns of smart home savvy people. The research found that over 75% of participants flagged privacy as a significant barrier to smart home adoption. The research identified how the traditional agree or disagree privacy agreements are much different in this new world. 

Rather than requiring an individual to read a lengthy document and then accept individuals could be placed in charge of determining precisely what is considered public and what is private. The discussion moved toward exploration of the potential of a device that could tell you what agencies or organizations were collecting information about you within your environment. So what do you think is the best way to balance the benefits of AI with individual privacy rights? Thanks for watching. I'll see you next week.