In an apparent effort to make life even easier for social media users, Ashish Bhatia, representing Google, has filed a patent for what is essentially a social media bot—an automated system that can produce and submit posts on a user’s behalf.
By scanning past posts on your social media networks, emails, and texts, and slowly forming an understanding of your behavior and writing style, the new Google bot is being heralded as a tool to help social media users avoid burnout—or recover from it. Many of us send and receive hundreds of Tweets, Facebook and Google+ posts, emails, and texts each day—a level of communication that for some can seem overwhelming.
Google’s response? Don’t ditch these outlets; let the bot take care of them.
Ready to Give up Your Personal Information?
Those interested in obtaining their very own Google bot must be willing to hand over account passwords and relinquish that bit of their privacy—a delicate topic in the midst of our country’s ongoing security debate.
These privacy issues have the potential to affect not just users, but their entire social circle, too. Aside from scanning your content in order to mimic your writing, the bot might potentially scan the posts of your friends and family.
This is nothing new for the search engine giant. In August, a patent was approved that would allow Google to track—and make money from—the eye movements of wearers of their revolutionary Google Glasses. The glasses’ Gaze Tracking System patent records each item a wearer looks at, how long it’s looked at, and even whether their pupils dilate. This information—logged and sent to Google’s servers—could eventually be of use to advertisers.
Google is Already Scanning your Gmail Accounts
Google is also regularly criticized for scanning the emails of its users’ Gmail accounts for advertising purposes. Utilizing the new bot to scan social media messages for advertising purposes is not a far-fetched idea.
Though similar bots have been created in the past, Google claims its bot’s responses are and will be more personalized—particularly the more the program is utilized by the individual. Still, users would maintain some control over their accounts: any suggestion made by the bot would require approval before being posted in the user’s name.
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