Organizations create smarter connected products, services and features that can proactively protect our safety, health and environment by anticipating our actions or needs.
The day before my flight recently to speak at an event in New Orleans I received a text message, email and phone call from my airline warning that I might experience some flight delays. Every time I log into Google from a new computer, I get an email with an IP address and location so I can confirm it was me. When I make a large purchase at a retail store, I get an alert on my phone asking if I am still in possession of my card. If I have been sitting at my desk for more than two hours, my wearable fitness tracker vibrates on my wrist to remind me to move around.
These interactions are simple examples of Predictive Protection – where the technology and products around us work actively to keep our health, time and money all safe. They provide undeniable convenience and other benefits, but they also raise some powerful new questions and challenges.
Self-driving cars, for example, hold the promise to reduce accident rates and make roads safer, but what happens if hackers find a way to turn these cars into weapons? How will an automated car decide between hitting (and likely killing) one person or aiming the other way and hitting four?
While this seems like a question for the future, the unintended side effects of this progress are already here. Consider, for example, the slightly terrifying recent news that Facebook’s experiments with AI bots led the bots to develop their own language and start conversing with each other - a language humans did not understand.
This is the new, complex two-sided nature of Predictive Protection. There will be growing pains, but our optimistic belief is that the net benefits of Predictive Protection will outweigh the risks – and the good news is there are stories of how this is happening already.