This is what happens when digital technology like Amazon Alexa overlaps with reality

Amazon Alexa, the digital assistant by Amazon is creating chaos all over the world. Well not really for everyone in the world but for homes or offices where a human has the same name as the assistant, ‘Alexa’. This may not seem much of a problem but imagine a computer that has the same name as your name and the amount of confusion that will persist every day as reported by The Wall Street Journal.

For instance, the computer (in this case a digital assistant) responds by the name ‘Rahul’, which is coincidentally your name. Imagine your father or mother asking, ‘Rahul, How is the weather today?’ which really is meant for the digital assistant.

The everyday confusion, in this case, will only grow as technology overtakes areas of life that were previously unheard of. I mean, who thought about digital assistants 30 years back except in the sci-fi realm of Star Trek or Star Wars?

The pace with which technology is overtaking and expanding its reach along with our increasing dependability on the machines is scary at best. Coming back to the instance of the digital overlapping the reality, first in operational usage and now in a basic and generic way of convoluted conversations. The conversations that don’t make sense because of the confusion caused when computers (Artificial Intelligence) start sharing their names with real humans. The time is not far when the computers will start imitating thought and the way we humans look at the world. For instance, just last week researchers made a camera which functions and works just like the human eye.

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It does not stop at AI or personal digital assistants but instead, extends itself to virtual reality and mixed reality. Technologies that actively take over the reality of the viewer and change it according to their programming. This overlap of technology with the real world is striking and worrying.

There should be checks and balances, something like Amazon did by adding the option to change the name of its Digital Personal assistant.