Technology does not tire of evolving and surprising with innovations. Things that were not possible until very recently, like talking to virtual assistants and receiving personalized recommendations, have become part of our daily lives. There are even more revolutionary innovations: if previously issuing coins was an exclusive capacity of central banks, today it is possible to produce bitcoins in a decentralized way.
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And what about the transportation apps? Simple and easy to use, they are so integrated into everyday life that we forget that there was a time when, to order a taxi from home, it was necessary to wait at least half an hour. Thinking about all these changes, the TechTudo prepared a list of six bizarre things that technology has allowed to do in the past decade.
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1. Speak with artificial intelligence and receive personalized responses
"Alexa, play my favorite song", "Ok, Google, order pizza on iFood", "Siri, is it going to rain today?" Talking to smart virtual assistants and receiving personalized responses was something that the evolution of artificial intelligence made not only perfectly possible, but also highly common in our daily lives. There are even virtual assistants designed to be a company for lonely people.
Apple's Virtual Assistant Siri Photo: Marvin Costa / TechTudo
All this practicality, however, can charge a very high price: the user's privacy. In July 2019, it was discovered that Apple employees could overhear private conversations between branded device owners and Siri. The company confirmed that humans do, in fact, have access to a small amount of virtual assistant audio to help detect technical flaws and improve technology.
But it wasn't just the apple company that got involved in polemics. In the same year, Amazon admitted that it stores transcripts of dictated commands for Alexa even if the user decides to delete the voice recordings manually. According to the e-commerce giant, this data is used so that Amazon Echo can understand when it is being called by the owner without having to make contact with the servers.
2. Insert people's faces in videos
Scientists work to fight deepfakes Photo: Reproduo / Discover Magazine
Deepfake technology, which uses machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) to create fake videos, has taken the spread of non-green content to a level never seen before. With the technique, it is possible to create very convincing materials in which the person does something he has never done in real life, without needing advanced knowledge in editing.
Named as one of the biggest digital security threats in 2020, deepfakes can be produced by ordinary users from intuitive applications or even ordered from websites that offer this type of service. The most recurrent application of technology in the production of pornographic content, which accounts for 96% of the videos with deepfake available on the Internet. Famous actresses, like Gal Gadot and Emma Watson, are among the victims.
However, anyone who thinks that deepfakes can have negative impacts is mistaken. The expectation that, in the coming years, technology will be used to treat diseases like depression. With the use of someone else's image, the patient who feels uncomfortable exposing his problem can report it to a psychologist or psychiatrist without having to identify himself.
3. Experience immersive experiences with augmented reality
Maps show directions to feet with augmented reality Photo: Divulgao / Google
It is difficult that, in the middle of 2020, you have not yet experienced at least one experience with augmented reality (AR). Who does not remember, for example, the fever of the game Pokmon GO? Just point the phone at the "real world" for the digital pet to appear and the hunt begins. Another success, this time more recent, involving technology was the Instagram dog filter. Many used the effect, which adds a caramel pooch dog to photos and videos from Stories, to play tricks on friends.
In addition to providing moments of fun, augmented reality proved to be a strategic tool to make life easier for many people. In 2019, Google Maps won the Live View feature, which uses technology to help users who have difficulty following the path set by the application. From the image provided by the cell phone camera, the system reads the environment and starts showing giant arrows over the real world, indicating the points where it is necessary to change direction.
4. Monitor partners and family members with stalkerwares
Stalkerware discharged with technological development Photo: Divulgao / Kaspersky Lab
Until recently, spying on details of someone's life seemed like something from the detective or the police. However, with the evolution of technology and the growing adoption of smartphones in everyday tasks, so-called virtual researchers have emerged stalkers , as well as tools specially designed to watch the lives of others. This is the case with stalkerwares, programs capable of monitoring the activities carried out on the device of a specific victim and passing them on to the spy.
Installed without the victim's consent, these applications are able to track information such as device location, browsing history, SMS messages and social media conversations. Although antithetical, stalkerwares are not at all illegal in some countries and satisfy curiosity for a relatively low price. No wonder that fans of these spy apps have grown up around the world. A Kaspersky survey shows that, in the first eight months of 2019, more than 37,000 people discovered this type of software on their cell phones.
5. Produce virtual currencies without the need for banks
Bitcoin subject of debate at FISL Photo: Divulgao / FISL
Real, dollar, euro, pound, peso and … bitcoin! Created in 2009, the virtual currency has gained increasing prominence on the web and in the financial market. Although its operation still confuses some people, there is no doubt that bitcoins have revolutionized the way of producing and dealing with money. This is because, in addition to allowing the sending and receiving of any amount without charging fees and in a short time, the issuance of the currency is not controlled by a Central Bank. It is produced in a decentralized way, in a process known as "mining".
Instead of machines that melt and laminate metal, specialized computers run software that performs millions of encrypted mathematical calculations to create the currency. Each time the mining process becomes more complex, the buy and sell value of bitcoin increases. It is estimated that today there are more than 16 million bitcoins in circulation.
6. Order cars via app
Know the requirements to become an Uber driver Photo: Divulgao / Uber
Never get into strangers' cars. It is very likely that you heard that phrase from your parents when you were a child. Nowadays, however, people drive with strangers all the time. The difference is that they use transport apps to combine the details of the race with a specific unknown. This possibility of the contemporary world, previously remote and considered insecure, has made life easier for many people.
Calling a taxi in the early 2000s was not the simplest task. It was necessary to have the telephone number of the nearest point and wait for someone to answer. Depending on the location, this meant waiting around 40 minutes to 1 hour. On the street, the scenario could be even more complicated, with high demand from interested parties. Now, with services like Uber and 99, it is possible to order cars with drivers that are close to the user's location and can arrive in less than five minutes.