Google reveals Pixel 6 will do something quite scary | ZDNet

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It looks so lovely. But does it have hidden depths?

Screenshot by ZDNet

It appeared late at night, just as I was arguing with the remains of the day.

Google slipped a new message of excitement onto YouTube and I just had to look.

The message, you see, was a new enticement for the upcoming Pixel 6, a phone that actually doesn’t look like most other expensive phones. Which is a good thing.

In the way of most phone messaging, this little ad begins with thumping music. Because if you can’t thump your way to success, what kind of American are you?

Still, while you’re being enthralled by fast cuts and pastel colors, Google inserts a message that borders on the subliminal but, at least for some, will be sublime.

I watched the ad twice, just to check I’d grasped it correctly.

The interspersed words read: “What if smartphones weren’t just smart? What if your phone saw you for who you are?”

Naturally, Google thinks you’re a young skateboarding intellectual, but please, look at those words.

Do you really want your phone to see you for who you are? Do you really want your phone to know that you’re a neurotic windbag, with a penchant for excessive self-criticism, a fear of dentists, a cataclysmic incompetence at relationships, and a reluctance to get up before 10 a.m.?

Don’t you worry your phone might take advantage of such knowledge? You know these phones already listen to you, right?

I confess I’m happy enough for my phone to do what I ask it to do and not ask too many questions.

This Pixel 6, however, will — at least according to this ad — be aware that you’re “learning,” “evolving” and “adapting.”

Wait, or does Google really mean that the phone will be learning, evolving, and adapting while you’re idling, stagnating, and maintaining your staunch resistance to change?

In essence, then, your phone will actually be getting smarter and smarter (about you), while you’re none the wiser.

Isn’t this a little scary?

Not at all, for those who can’t wait for artificial intelligence to wrap them in its bosom and tell them everything’s going to be alright.

I just don’t have quite that level of trust.

If I buy a Pixel 6, it’ll realize my skepticism very quickly. And then what might it do?

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