Wednesday, July 08, 2015

A rant about Garmin + face recognition everywhere?

I paid £75 for lifetime update of my Garmin SatNav's maps. Has there every been a more unfriendly website than Garmin's? Like other people's nightmares, no-one cares about the chapter and verse of bad website experiences, so in short:
  • You can't update the maps with Chrome, and Internet Explorer just hung - it only works with Firefox.
  • You can't get started without downloading 'Garmin Communicator' - which is different to 'Garmin Express' (which I ended up downloading about seven times).
  • Nothing is explained: the process is totally opaque.
  • The process hangs at many points: it's not clear if it's working or whether it's stopped working (bet on the latter).
  • Technical support, after 15 minutes hanging on, was minimally helpful.
I keep reading about how computer AI systems, are going to replace vast swathes of white collar workers. Yet I keep meeting websites with IQs south of 40. Keep the human help or commerce will grind to a halt.

I was struck by this article (via Marginal Revolution) which both explains the current state-of-the-art in automated facial recognition (scarily good) and describes negotiations in the States between developers and privacy advocates. The talks have broken down.

Initially my sympathies were with the developers, then I began to reflect on daily cold-calling on my phone, chuggers in the town and junk mail. So I want to be accosted by name every fifty yards on the high street by AI mannequins who know my name, interests and way too much about my personal history? I would become a recluse.

Trust me, there's an issue brewing here.