New Bots and Apps: Personalized For Your Every Need

 

Brian Park, the DC Director of Startup Grind is one of my favorite people to follow on Snapchat. Every morning, while driving to work, he reports on the best and most interesting tech news of the day.

  • What caught my attention last week was the U.S. launch, on July 12th, of DoNotPay.
  • This legal chatbot was created by Stanford student, Joshua Browder, to appeal parking tickets – for free – in the UK (Browder is a Brit).
  • In 2 years, DoNotPay has helped overturn 375,000 parking tickets worth an estimated $10 million in fines.
  • Browder is now expanding the service beyond parking tickets to other legal issues that involve a single-page document e.g. landlord disputes or credit card fraud.
  • Browder is concerned that lawyers will come after him for taking away their business, I believe the bigger problem for him will be city governments who will not be at all happy to lose parking fine income.

Read on below for the latest on personalized mobile search from Google Feed (just rolled out last week) and highlights on dating, sex and technology from Futurism.com (def. worth a read!).

Google personalized mobile search

 

 

WOW – so Google is using your entire search history to create personalized news feeds for you. Privacy be damned – I love this idea. Although I don’t see the full potential of this happening on my phone yet. Not sure if it’s a problem with the roll-out or I am just not accessing it correctly.

  • Also, since Google Feed just rolled out last week, there are glitches e.g. it continues to give me weather for 10013 vs. 10002 – even after I reset it twice. It also keeps saying my precise location is unknown?
  • Love the restaurant recommendations – all spot on for time of day and in this instance, precise location.
  • Questions for Google: can I change my categories? For example, there is no way that my search history would have resulted in a sports category or entertainment (how many times do I go to the movies or see live music?)
  • Can I replace with an art category? And even better, could it do a breakout for street art, galleries , museums?
  • I’d also find a lot of use for Google Trends if I could access top trending searches in real time.
  • Bottom line: this is going to seriously impact OpenTable, Yelp, Foursquare and other location-based apps.

Interestingly, techies who know a lot more about this than I do, are not as enthusiastic about it. They say people prefer to get their news from Facebook. Since that’s the last place I go to for my news, I’ll take a wait and see approach as to how popular and widely used Google Feed will be.

 

Dating in the Internet Age

  • In the 1960s, over 50% of marriages globally, and 95% of marriages in India, were arranged.
  • Today that number has dropped to less than 15% (globally).
  • 40 million Americans use online dating services (that’s 40% of the single population in the U.S.).
  • The online dating industry is valued at $2.4 billion.

 

 

Sex & Exponential Tech

  • In 2015, a pornography website reported that their users watched over 4.3 billion hours of porn (87 billion videos) that year.
  • In Japan, a growing population of men *prefer* having “virtual girlfriends” over real ones (i.e. they believe they are “dating” virtual avatars that they largely control).
  • 45% of Japanese single women, and 25 % of Japanese single men aged 16 to 24 claim they aren’t even interested in sexual contact.
  • As virtual reality (VR) becomes more widespread, a major application will be VR porn – predicted to be much more intense, vivid, and addictive.
  • There will also be a proliferation in AI-powered avatar and robotic relationships, similar to those depicted in the movies Her and Ex Machina.

 

Implications

  • VR porn offers a virtual world filled with more, better, and newer varieties of sex.
  • VR (as well as other exponential technologies such as robotics, sensors and A.I.) will replace intimacy and human relationships, as it is more accessible, cheaper, on-demand, and controllable.
  • As with every technology in history, from the printing press to VHS and the internet, pornography will be on the front line funding the advance of technology.

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