Will AI Impact Online Privacy?

AI Impact Online Privacy
AI Impact Online Privacy

The rise of artificial intelligence (AI) technology has brought numerous benefits to various industries, from healthcare to finance and beyond. However, with this increase in AI’s power and presence comes the need for increased attention to privacy concerns. In this article, we’ll explore how AI will impact online privacy and what implications this will have for internet users.

AI is coming for your searches

Both Alphabet (the parent company of Google) and Microsoft, the force behind Bing, have announced that they will integrate language models like ChatGPT with their online search engines. Both companies have already used smart algorithms to better understand what their users are searching for, including the intent behind the search. But AI that understands natural human speech can bring profound changes to the world of search. AI helps these companies to understand the content of websites better too, and to match search results with the user’s intent. However, this process also requires the collection and analysis of vast amounts of personal data. This data can then be used to target users with personalized advertisements, which can be both convenient and invasive – often at the same time.

Gaming in the age of AI

What do gaming platforms know about you? Well, obviously, they know what games you like to play, no matter if we’re talking about Steam or the gaming outlets listed at Australia internet pokies. But gaming platforms collect more data about their users than just the title and genre of their games, including how often they play, and what in-game purchases they make. This data can be analyzed by AI in an instant, and be translated into special offers and promotions that can convince you to spend even more.

Shopping in the age of AI

E-commerce companies collect data on the products that users view and purchase, and AI can help them understand the shopping habits of their customers better and build a more efficient customer journey. This may sound convenient – but at the same time, it can sound a bit creepy as well. And sometimes, it can lead to awkward situations.A decade ago, the American supermarket chain Target figured out that a young woman was pregnant based on nothing more than the changes in her shopping habits. Imagine what the superior analytics skill of an AI will be able to do with the information gathered from millions of online shoppers.

We welcome AI into our homes

Finally, let’s not forget that AI-powered virtual assistants are also becoming more common, and these devices will continue to impact online privacy. Not only virtual assistants like Siri, Alexa or Google Assistant, but the voice interfaces of smart TVs and other appliances, all collect a huge piles of data on the people who use them, including information about their home and their daily routines. This data is then used to improve the functionality of the virtual assistants but it also raises privacy concerns, as it can potentially be used to track users’ locations, routines, and even their conversations.

AI and social media

The rise of AI in the world of social media can also have a significant impact on online privacy. Social media companies collect vast amounts of data on their users, including information about their relationships, interests, and activities. AI can help these companies to better understand their users and to create more personalized experiences, but it can also be used to target users with advertisements and to track their behavior across different platforms, way more efficiently than Cambridge Analytica did a few years ago.

Should we be concerned about privacy in the age of AI?

In conclusion, AI is poised to have a profound impact on online privacy. While AI can be used to create more personalized and convenient online experiences, it also requires the collection and analysis of vast amounts of personal data. This raises significant privacy concerns, as the data collected by AI can be used to track users, target them with advertisements, and even potentially access sensitive information. As AI technology continues to evolve, it will be crucial for tech companies, policymakers, and internet users to pay close attention to the privacy implications of these developments.