IoT and the Judgement Day

Mahesh Murthy recently tweeted:
Now a proud owner of Audi R8, Tesla S & Ferrari 308. Found this from Google Play: my 2-yr old bought them on Asphalt 8
This might sound like a pardonable innocent act; some might find it cute too. But your HomeOS doing the same - analyzing a vacant parking space in your car, a certain amount of bank balance, based on car your neighbour recently bought, the car pic your cousin recently posted on FB or some darn algorithm that the developer in Google, Apple or MS came up with - can be a terrible nightmare, possibly even leading to a lawsuit. Companies are already shirking off their responsibility blaming the algorithm creating a scene of mistrust with customers. The recent issues with Uber is a case in point:
We are not setting the price. The market is setting the price. We have algorithms to determine what that market is.

My point is IoT is never going to be a master decision maker. At best, it will be a handy personal assistant. So in the egg-minder situation, it will remind you about buying egg when it's about to be over or the next time you are in a grocery store. On a light note, Terminator Genisys might be here, but we are far from the Judgement Day!!



Update 20/6/2015:

I can see Engineers' bias here. M2M is pure engineering domain; IoT is not. If you are talking about a technology that is going to affect your daily life, you cannot neglect other aspects of life viz. economics, psychology, operations management etc.

- You might be a Walmart loyal; but are you willing to forego special offers tomorrow thrown by a competitor say Target just because you trust your devices? The manufacturers don't create devices keeping end customers best interest in mind. Or do you prefer monopolies? Airliner's yield pricing, Uber's surge pricing, ISPs controlling net access etc. - which one do you think is benefiting the customers? What do you do if the device manufacturer blacklists - worse if it's done silently - your favorite retailer?

- Each order delivery incurs shipping cost. Is missing an egg worth the extra dollars spent on shipping?

- Order size makes you eligible for extra discounts. That's the reason people buy weekly or monthly grocery and not daily. Your local vendor might be supplying you milk packets daily even though you pay him monthly because his business is small. Any retailer with slightly large operations would ask for a minimum order. (Though it's interesting to note that retailers pay their vendors in 1-2 months credit cycle!!).

- Human mind is fickle. Just because you had pizza in your refrigerator last week, doesn't mean you're going to eat the same for rest of the month, does it? Do you want your fridge to auto-order pizza for you based on your past behaviour? And silently pay for it too?

- No matter what disease you are suffering from, would you want your HomeOS to deny you to eat certain things or do certain things?


The Judgment Day is the day when Skynet became self-aware. I was alluding to the fact that an autonomous self-aware machine is  well far into the future.

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