In the Terminator movies storyline, Judgement Day refers to the day that the new global artificial intelligence (AI) software connecting users’ lives across all devices becomes self-aware and launches an all out assault on humanity. The software is branded as Genisys to the public but once active is called Skynet.
My wild mind locked on the idea today, and looking at what is on ground right now, if there is one software that is closest to connecting everyone and everything today like Genisys was designed to do in the movie, it is……
You guessed wrong. It isn’t Android. Gmail, people; Gmail. Gmail is the real brain to fear. It is because of Gmail that Google Now knows your flight schedule. It is because of Gmail that your browsing pattern is known. It is because of Gmail that your purchasing history is on record, such that you are given shopping recommendations. If you use Gmail, your whole life is connected across devices. It is at its best/worst on Android, to be sure, but whether you use Android, Windows, OSX, BlackBerry, or whatever, so long as you use Gmail, the bits and pieces of your life are connected. And almost everyone with a digital life uses Gmail.
For example, dad got a Samsung Galaxy smartphone recently and needed his corporate email setup on it. The email app wouldn’t handle the setup and kept returning an error. I hate that old Android email app, by the way. This wasn’t the first time it was being a dunce. Thankfully, on Lollipop, it’s history. Anyway, Gmail handles email so well that I knew the corporate account setup would be a piece of cake. Long story short, even grandpa Mo had to get a Gmail account, and in a few minutes, I had the Gmail app installed on his phone and his work email working. Dad just got on potential Skynet.
No; Gmail is not Skynet. At least, not yet. But add artificial intelligence to a software that already knows your home and work locations, knows your bank details, knows your likes and dislikes, has your photo collection stored (if you use Google photos), etc, and that is Skynet in waiting.
Let’s hope to God that there’s a Sarah Connor in waiting out there too.