Mind Matters Where Natural and Artificial Intelligence Meet

So what happened to Google Glass?

We are told that the “wetware” (humans) got in the way
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Google Glass photo.JPG
Google Glass 2013/Dan Leveille (CC BY-SA 3.0)

The original 2013 version of the head-worn computer that looks like eyeglasses flopped, mainly for social reasons (“bugginess and creepiness”). But we were assured in 2014 that the technology was sure to march on. Indeed, Google Glass 2.0 (2017) is considered by aficionados to be a “startling second act.” Yet, in a world where we see handhelds everywhere, we rarely see Google glasses, possibly due to the “widespread derision” factor as well as privacy concerns.

At Wall Street Journal, Joanna Stern offers to explain why much high tech does not take the world by storm:

According to the people who actually build this stuff, the problem is bigger than tech. Bill Buxton, a father of the touch screen and a principal researcher at Microsoft, says it is often the wetware (aka us) that gets in the way.

“The people who have the tech skills may not have the cultural and social skills,” Buxton says. “It’s only when you get all those skills together that you get the perfect storm for the next breakthrough.” Google Glass is a great example. The company was so excited about its headworn computer that it missed the social and privacy concerns, not to mention the hideously geeky design. Joanna Stern, “We Were Promised Mind-Blowing Personal Tech. What’s the Hold-Up?” at The Wall Street Journal (paywall)

It bears repeating: A technology is adopted when it solves problems as identified by users rather than problems as identified by developers. 😉

See also: The driverless car: A bubble soon to burst? Author says journalists too gullible about high tech

Screen Writers’ Jobs Are Not Threatened by AI. Unless the public starts preferring mishmash to creativity

and

AI That Can Read Minds? Deconstructing AI Hype The source for the claims seems to be a 2018 journal paper, “Real-time classification of auditory sentences using evoked cortical activity in humans.” The carefully described results are indeed significant but what the Daily Mail article didn’t tell you sheds a rather different light on the AI mind reader.