Artificial intelligence was once a figment of imagination, seen largely in futuristic sci-fi films and books. Now, the world is steeped in it. From smart thermostats to virtual assistants, technology extends into almost every aspect of life, and A.I. is heading toward ubiquity in U.S. homes. But before automating your home and leaving Alexa in charge, it’s essential to think about possible downsides. Here’s a rundown.
A.I. Can Reveal Your Habits
Home automation products like smart thermostats, light bulbs, sprinklers, and locks can help people schedule and simplify mundane tasks and control them easily through their smartphones. It’s appealing to turn lights on and off, or to control the temperature of the home remotely. However, automating daily habits gives strangers a clear view into your daily routine and behaviors. When your lights turn on at the same time each day and off at the same time each night, strangers can easily gauge when someone is home or not. Patterns can easily be learned—giving strangers a clear view into your world, and leaving your home exposed and vulnerable.
Smart-Home Products Can Easily Be Hacked
Products like smart door locks and security cameras are appealing and have benefits. They can save homeowners time, energy, and money. They also enable homeowners to check in on their homes when away. But, is the convenience worth the risk?
Researchers have demonstrated how easily things like smart door locks can be hacked by a third-party from a computer. Hackers can gain entry to your home by simply rewiring some code and unlocking the smart lock. Likewise, indoor security cameras are intended to benefit homeowners, allowing them to check in on their homes, children, or pets. However, predators have been able to hack into nanny cams and talk to or watch unsuspecting occupants.
Obviously, technology isn’t inherently good or bad. As with everything, there are pros and cons, and A.I. is no exception. Before you automate your home and rely on your digital assistant to control it, take the necessary safeguards to protect your home and family from possible threats.