Tech Companies Are Building Tiny, Personal AIs to Keep Your Messages Private

Tech Companies Are Building Tiny, Personal AIs to Keep Your Messages Private

Published By: Quartz, 2/10/2017

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Technology companies, such as Facebook and Google, are developing artificial intelligence systems (AI) for mobile devices to improve the privacy of messaging applications. New AI innovations allow algorithms that need less computing power, and can therefore be implemented locally on mobile devices. This means that information would not be sent to and from the cloud, reducing potential security issues.

Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level of Article: 12.512 12.5

Extended Discussion Questions

  • Besides security, what are some other potential benefits of having access to sophisticated apps that do not require network communication?
  • What could be some disadvantages of having an AI system that runs only on your mobile device, rather than a more flexible cloud solution?
  • One reason Facebook says they want to do this type of processing on board your devices is that encrypted messages can’t be processed in the cloud without decrypting them, which would create security vulnerabilities.
    • If you currently use Facebook Messenger, do you encrypt your messages?
    • If Facebook offered their suggestion service as a cloud-based program (that had to decrypt and then re-encrypt messages), would you use it?

Relating This Story to the CSP Curriculum Framework

Global Impact Learning Objectives:

  • LO 7.1.1 Explain how computing innovations affect communication, interaction, and cognition.
  • LO 7.3.1 Analyze the beneficial and harmful effects of computing.

Global Impact Essential Knowledge:

  • EK 7.1.1D Cloud computing fosters new ways to communicate and collaborate.
  • EK 7.3.1G Privacy and security concerns arise in the development and use of computational systems and artifacts.
  • EK 7.3.1J Technology enables the collection, use, and exploitation of information about, by, and for individuals, groups, and institutions.

Other CSP Big Ideas:

  • Idea 4 Algorithms

Banner Image:Network Visualization – Violet – Offset Crop“, derivative work by ICSI. New license: CC BY-SA 4.0. Based on “Social Network Analysis Visualization” by Martin Grandjean. Original license: CC BY-SA 3.0.

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