In my current issue of Information Week, there is a little article about two Google researchers who propose using ambient-audio identification technology to capture sound with a laptop PC so that Google can identify what you are watching and provide you with a search that corresponds to the program. In other words, if you are watching a baseball game, and you have your laptop on, the ever-diligent and always listening Google intelligent machine will do a search for statistical information, ESPN, your fantasy team, etc. Of course, as the article mentions, advertisers are extremely excited about the prospect.
I don’t know about you, but I have one answer for that proposal — not flipping way am I going to let some machine or some large conglomerate company ease drop on what I’m doing so they can better serve me advertising. In fact I have spent the last few years doing everything I can to reduce the advertising I see everyday. I’ve trained myself to ignore all advertising on a Web page. (I know my bosses hate to hear that.) I skip commercials when I watch television. With my new DVR, skipping is now just part of the experience. You start to get a feel for when to stop the fast forward. I resent the implication that if they can only find out more about me , advertisers can manipulate me into buying what they want me to buy.
The idea that we will let ourselves be bombarded by advertising based on what we are watching, looking at, reading, maybe even thinking, is ridiculous in my opinion. Do you disagree? Do you think having big brother Google ease drop on your viewing habits is a good idea? If so, can you explain to me why?