3 min readTechnology and relationships: What’s the connection?

Technology has the capacity to improve our relationships. It can be an important tool for self-development. But behind every app you use is a system for data collection.

In this article written by Margaret Morris for The Nautilus we are introduced to two individuals who use technology in improving and assessing themselves, and their social relationships.

First we discover how Elana and boyfriend David uses smart lights to communicate with each other, even with David located 400 miles away. Next, we learn how Tobias’ Mood Phone helped him assess his own emotions, and how getting in touch with his own moods enabled him to reach out to his partner. Lastly, we meet mother and daughter, Mallory and Natasha, who used a system that tracked all their interactions (face-to-face, phone calls, emails) and created a visual representation of their social solar system. Though the data collected by the system, Mallory and Natasha realized how close they were to each other, which effectively blocked anyone else from coming into the relationship.

In each of the relationships cited by the article, we see how technology can help assess and enliven connections. It opens new opportunities for interaction, as well as new methods for self-reflection.

Why It Matters

We can see from Morris’ article that technology can be used to improve the lives of humans. It enhances well-being, and when used appropriately, can make life joyful and meaningful. We see many millenials today utilizing an app to help them achieve inner peace, better health, improved productivity, among many others. Those who previously couldn’t afford to the gym can now download an app online and utilize specially designed training routines. If there is an activity you need to do to improve yourself, you will find an app for it.

But we would like to give you a word of caution as you use these apps. For one, all apps collect data. If it asked for your name, age, weight, and other personal data, then you can be sure that a customer profile is already being made about you. The number of times, and duration of your exercises will be recorded and compared to other profiles in order for the app developer to understand their own market. It will later on, be utilized to market products and services you can’t say no to.

Perhaps more important than profiling is the reality that many of these apps enable the capacity for creating an account using your Facebook or Google profile. We all know how advanced the AI capacities of these two tech giants. We also know how Google’s executives are actively pushing for technological singularity and transhumanism. When your data is integrated with all the others, it can be used to build a robot that can play with various emotions and behaviors, based on what the algorithm dictates.

Remember the previous article where we said that AI can never have its own ethics [see There Are Minds Everywhere, Except AI]?Well, if AI developers have the data about your own relationships, about your intimitate connections, then they can program an AI that learns from that data. If the goal is to create a robot that can act and interact like a human being, with more people utilizing apps for themselves and their relationships, its only about time before the mass of data needed for such an endeavor can be collated and utilized.

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