Google has turned machine learning and citizen privacy on its head with the unveiling of Google Clips in San Francisco on 5 October 2017. Google Clips is a new generation digital camera powered by artificial intelligence. The digital camera has a screen only. Weighing 55 grams, Google Clips is a cube-shaped constantly watching camera whose artificial intelligence identifies whether a moment is worth capturing. If it is, the Clips cube records a short clip for the owner.
Google Clips costs $249 and works in sync with Google Home. In the announcement, a newer version of the Home was announced, the Home Mini, which is much smaller in size and can be installed in every room of any home. The Google Clips device is a flat shaped two inches cube with a small camera lens. It is like possessing the Instagram icon on the palm, in real. It works by twisting the lens and placing it somewhere. The camera captures everything in its 130-degree view. The machine learning is enabled to learn and recognize faces over time and take photos of known people, and not strangers. All the captured content is accessible via the connected app to either save or delete the content. The content can be exported as Motion Photos, JPEGs, GIFs or movie files.
The launch date hasn’t been announced yet, but the new AI-based technology does raise privacy concerns. Essentially, the device gains access to every moment of a person’s life with the capability to decide which moments are worth capturing. While it is true that we cannot be omnipresent but is a device like Clips a worthy solution? Anything digital can be hacked.
While the announcement did lay stress on the security aspect of the device stating that the camera will not be connected to any cloud service, it will be connected only to the synced device and an app for access; the product does raise serious security and privacy concerns. Anyone hacking the devices will get easy access to the private and personal moment of a family’s life, and misuse it as the hacker deems fit. Ransomware attacks and phishing are all too common. What if the device makes a clip of the owner accessing a bank account and the device gets hacked? Who would be responsible for the consequences?