back to article AI can't help without your data, says Gartner, so share, share, share!

Gartner thinks the Facebook data panic will subside as people start to realise the value of their information. Predicting an eventual upturn in the sagging smartphone market, research director Ranjit Atwal told The Reg that while artificial intelligence has proven key to making phones more useful by removing friction from …

  1. Mark 85

    such as ordering an Uber - but that will require users to share data with services they trust.

    Hahahahahahahaaaaaa...... I needed that laugh. With all the shitstorm going on with FB, they decide that companies need 'more' and then use Uber as an example? Sorry, the kids at Gartner have a large set of gonads to suggest this.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      And how is Uber going to know you need a lift?

      First I'd have to put my flight in my calendar, which I rarely would do. Even if I did, how is it supposed to know that I'm not having a friend give me a lift? I guess I'll have to give it access to my texts, emails and allow it to listen to my phone calls and actually be listening all the time in case I make arrangements in person.

      Luckily Uber is a very trustworthy company so no one could possibly come up with a reason why they wouldn't want to give it access to your entire life if it meant saving you from the terrible drudgery of spending 15 seconds to open the app and manually call for a ride!

      As usual, Gartner is telling its paying customers what they want to hear, not caring that it has zero chance of actually happening.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: And how is Uber going to know you need a lift?

        You don't have to put your flight in your calendar, a good few years ago when on holiday my phone (which has since been hobbled in this respect) told me when my flight home was leaving. It seems google were scraping my emails for it's assistant and picked up my booking.

        As for renewing insurance do they really think anyone that regularly switches is going to trust AI to do it for them properly and get the best deal/product. I doubt it.

        1. Steve K

          Re: And how is Uber going to know you need a lift?

          Renewing anything is fraught with difficulty.

          Unless all insurance providers offer precisely the same cover and ask precisely the same questions then you cannot perform a valid renewal. If the AI has done it then who is responsible for errors/omissions which invalidate the insurance (similarly to the autonomous car situation).

          If you have to double-check it then what was the point in the first place...

          If a "Smart" AI fridge notices that I am out of Product A how does it know that I really want to order more of it? Maybe I now like Product B, or it is on special offer this week etc.

          The list goes on.

          Second-guessing human behaviour means that a lot of the time people will need to take a second go at correcting the AI for what they really wanted.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Renewing insurance, smart fridge AI etc.

            Those are good examples, but leaving it up to us humans to do it means WE likely aren't getting the best insurance deal or getting the type of coverage we should. Most people select their coverage and renew like clockwork never checking alternatives unless their situation changes like getting married, having kids, buying a new house or car, etc.

            An AI might do the wrong thing, but many people also do, so at least there's room for improvement - the AI could suggest "consider these three alternatives" to narrow down the multitude of choices that makes most people decide they don't even want to deal with looking. A smart fridge AI would be better equipped to check all the deals and make you aware that brand B is half off if you consider it a viable alternative to brand A (and if you say no, remember that and not suggest it again)

            That's the role I see a "smart assistant" playing for me someday. Dial down the insane amount of crap you have to wade through for various decisions both big and small. I want it to do all the tedious collecting of information and comparison of alternatives and whittle it down to present me with a manageable list of options to consider.

        2. VinceH

          Re: And how is Uber going to know you need a lift?

          " a good few years ago when on holiday my phone (which has since been hobbled in this respect) told me when my flight home was leaving. It seems google were scraping my emails for it's assistant and picked up my booking."

          If that had happened to me I wouldn't have stopped at hobbling my phone in that respect - I would have also stopped using Google for email.

          (I do have a Gmail account, used for one thing and one thing only to keep it separate from my proper email accounts.)

    2. big_D Silver badge

      Yes, they couldn't really have chosen a worse example... Well grindr or Facebook itself, maybe.

      I'm sorry, but most cloud companies have already proven themselves to be totally incompetent with the data they already have and now Gartner thinks we should give them access to more of our private data?

      NO, NO, NO is my answer.

      Edit: And yes, I have a GMail account, but it is used only for signing up to junk websites and services that I have no real interest in having a long-term relationship with, but with which I have to register to get any information from them...

      1. Mark 85

        Let's face it... Gartner is about who pays them and their profit. They're saying what the customers want to hear which is "slurp more data, the users will love it".

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "People will start to use data as a currency,"

    They (Big-Tech) already are, but its us that are being excluded. That's the problem! So don't believe a word of this Utopian-AI-Utility shit. Its a definite dystopian non-transparent world that Big-Tech has in store for all of us:



    "Travel website Orbitz was showing Mac users pricier hotel options than PC users. Staples website was tracking visitor’s locations and only applying price discounts if there was a competitor store within 20 miles of them. Data may even be used to tailor prices. Sometimes prices for the same product being subtly different, sometimes it’s different products with different price ranges being pushed to the consumer. "

    "How are they tracking us? Turns out that every device behaves in a subtly different way in a manner that’s completely invisible to the user, so the 3rd parties can tell when the same user of the same device is visiting again. - canvas fingerprinting - . When one of these scripts is running on a website you visit, it instructs your browser to draw an invisible image. Because every device does it in a unique way, it can be used to assign a number to your machine and effectively track your browsing."

    "If that sounds like the kind of shady thing you’d only find in the dark recesses of the net, then you’ll be disappointed to hear that even well-respected sites, from to, are running these scripts."

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    ach, jes' sod off, will ye?

    Why should we share share share when you grab grab grab and leak leak whoops buggrit leak?

  4. Oor Nonny-Muss


    Nailing jelly to the wall since 1962 - one day some of it will stick, purely by the laws of probability.

    See also the Rutherford-Geiger-Marsden Experiment for similar probabilities.

    1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

      Re: Gartner

      The laws of physics would argue otherwise and, experimentally, it would appear that physics is more applicable than probability theory when it comes to jelly-nailing.

      Gartner are twats and so is anyone who ever pays them money.

    2. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

      Re: Gartner

      We laugh at alchemists for trying to turn lead into money... Gartner found out how to turn bullshit into money.

  5. frank ly

    You What?

    So, I put in my calendar, the dates when I'll be going away and when I'll be coming home. Then I make that information available to a system that has already probably slurped my address and home phone number .......................

    I'm sure that only trustworthy organisations and honest people will be able to have access to that information.

    1. Steve K

      Re: You What?

      ..and then your phone will automatically inform the insurance company and they will automatically refuse to pay out if the place has been robbed..

  6. israel_hands

    Typical Gartner Fuckwittery

    The idea of sharing more data in a situation where the likes of Google, Facebook, et al, are already building shadow profiles on people who deliberately avoid using their products is so out of touch it's untrue.

    It also flies in the face of the current legislative trends. GDPR is coming in precisely to give people more control over their data and to force theses unstrustworthy bastards to remove it from their systems.

    And the examples he gives are exactly the sort of situation that would sound good (to an idiot) but fall apart as soon as you start to think about them. Automatic airport taxis? What if I've parked my own vehicle there, or organised a lift, or it's not even my flight, just a reminder about when a friend/family member/colleague is landing.

    As to automatic renewals, that would only ever benefit the insurance brokers as they are notorious for jacking up renewal prices because they know most people at too complacent to shop around. So much so that in England insurers now MUST clearly show the difference between their previous quote and the renewal quote and actively recommend that customers shop around for a better price (which they will almost certainly get). The RAC just got done this week for failing to do so.

    I wish I was surprised that Gartner don't have the awareness or technical understanding to see that letting opaque algorithms act without human oversight and intervention is nothing less than a recipe for disaster.

    1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

      Re: Typical Gartner Fuckwittery without the Devil in the Detail

      If automatic renewals were tied to match the lowest of alternative offers, would the business of insurance be hijacked for/with SMARTR Hacks with Immaculate Cracks ..... Creating Virtual Empires with Advanced IntelAIgent Beings Servering and Servicing New Arrivals with Global Operating Devices being but One of the Best Journeys to Follow.

      And SomeThing Quite ExtraOrdinarily Different for the Likes of an Apple or a Microsoft to Consider for Virtual Realisation/Realise for Virtual Consideration .... Presentation via Myriad Mass Multi Media Channels with AIRemote Live Repo Programs Providing Security and Succour and Safe Havens for both Terrified and Terrifying Global Assets.

      Who and/or What takes you into the Future, and with what, and where be you going? Anywhere truly nice and heavenly?

      Be they Apples, for AIHooking after a Cooking, Tim, or is Windows to Share the Noble Prize All Alone. That can be Ye Olde Lonesome Road through Rags to Riches Beyond Compare and Valuation when JOINT Ventures are Missed or are Yet to be Discussed and Energised.

      An Interesting Source of Increasing Power be that JOINT AIVenTuring Energy. And a Virtual Virgin Stock Option for ACTive Consideration of Futures and Derivatives Marketeers

      What State of Stock then would NEUKlearer HyperRadioProACTive IT be? And would an Absolute Command and Deft Control with IT of it be an Almighty Weapon to Control and Command with SMARTR Capitalising Investments/Angelic Funding?

  7. Pete 2 Silver badge

    Print your own cash.

    > "People will start to use data as a currency,"

    And as such, "data" will have exactly as much value as any other currency that a user prints for themself. The problem with trying to attach a monetary value to "data" is one of supply and demand.

    How much is a Facebook profile worth? If it exchangable for (say) $1, then I'll get to work with some code that will create 1000 Facebook profiles a day KERCHING!. If a click is worth 0.001¢ then the same applies.

    Everybody knows the HHGTTG reference that comes next. Maybe we really are on the B-ark.

  8. JeffyPoooh

    Google already does this sort of thing...

    Google, by reading my gmail traffic, issues me direct reminders that my bills are coming due.

    I'm not convinced that parsing the ASCII strings found in email traffic achieves the lofty heights of "A.I.".

    Unless we're redefining A.I. to mean (trivial) 'Algorithm Invoked'...

    ...oh, that's already happened? What? Five years ago?

    Well, that explains a great deal.

  9. a_yank_lurker

    AI = Artificial Idiocy

    Like most people, my habits, vacation plans, etc. tend to follow a pattern there is a limit to the pattern's value. Major life changing events will likely cause changes in how I must do things because the assumptions behind the original patterns are invalid. Also, one might decide to change something at any time, such as a new hobby.

    Another consideration is many do not keep a detailed personal electronic calendar as it is unnecessary. I can tell you what I will plan to do for the rest of the year but I do not need a detailed electronic calendar to keep me straight, the ordinary pen and paper variety is more than adequate for the level of detail I need.

    So they want me to share plans electronically when I do not need to keep track of them electronically. The basic question then is what is the real benefit to me; I see none.

  10. doublelayer Silver badge


    "Uber "knowing" from your calendar that you needed a lift from the airport"

    I could just call my car, whatever service I use, from the airport, and wait five minutes. Alternatively, maybe they could add a feature of their app that lets me enter my flight number and queues a car to the airport based on landing. I could, you know, choose when to activate it and they wouldn't need to read my calendar to get it done.

    "If you haven't changed your car insurance there should be easier and more effective ways of doing that. But that only happens if you share your data."

    If insurance companies weren't basically evil, we would stick with one of them and they have that convenient one-question renew form. Other providers make it more difficult because we haven't used them before. Fix that first. No data required.

    This will allow smartphones to be more trusted than other credentials, such as credit cards, passports, IDs or keys," Atwal concludes.

    If that's the case, then the government that produces the passports and IDs is doing it wrong. The credit card companies are going to go to great extents to avoid fraud, too, so I doubt that. Finally, I have never seen people use keys as identification. Access, yes, but never identification.

    "You've got to make your own PC - plug in a screen, keyboard and mouse," he said. "In terms of ecosystems it's evolved or developed enough."

    Your AI is going to plug in my keyboard for me? That's brilliant! That'll save me a whole five seconds, that will!

  11. MachDiamond Silver badge

    A phone as ID

    Using a phone as identification is the most ludicrous thing ever. They're easy to nick, they smash and become useless when dropped (or sat on) and the battery always seems to go flat at an inconvenient time. It's bad enough that banks will give access based on a phone's number when it's used.

    Having different forms of ID with different security features means that if somebody is wanting to impersonate me, they would have to forge several different types of documents. If its all done with a phone, that phone could be cloned without the owner realizing it. Say you notice your phone is missing and 10-15 minutes later it's returned to you after being turned in to a shop keeper. You think, very nice, I dropped my phone and somebody was kind enough to turn it over to the shop say that they spotted it under a chair/table/rack. What really happened was that the phone was stolen while unlocked, cloned and then turned back so quickly that nothing is turned off. The data is browsed to find out how it can be exploited with more time to do the deed.

    I hope I'm not giving any ideas. I'm just trying to emphasize that having one ID and especially an electronic one is bloody dangerous. While it's less convenient to need a security badge, driver's license, passport and a set of keys, the combination requires somebody to work much harder to impersonate somebody or gain access to something they shouldn't be able to.

  12. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

    Top Kek

    Want data privacy? You’ll have to pay for that – Facebook COO

    Sheryl Sandberg, second in command at Facebook, told NBC News that the social media platform runs on user data, and the only way users would be able to completely opt out of sharing any of their data would be if Facebook implemented paid subscriptions.

    When asked why no opt-out button exists already, Sandberg said “that would be a paid product.” Sandberg insisted that facebook does not sell or give away users’ personal details to advertisers, but maintained that the company’s business depends on that data, and on using that data to target ads at users.

    Sanders was quickly put on blast on Twitter...

    "Bathed in his currents of liquid helium, self-contained, immobile, vastly well informed by every mechanical sense: Shalmaneser. Every now and again there passes through his circuits a pulse which carries the cybernetic equivalent of the phrase, “Christ, what an imagination I’ve got.“"

  13. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    Looking under the Hood for the Mode Source of the Insane 00MPH

    AI can't help without your data, says Gartner, so share, share, share!

    Methinks Andrew/Gartner, a number of branches of AI, for there are many vital and virtual roots trailing and trialing researching paths and development goals, will mimic psychotic manic human government governance practices and pump and dump their own Brave New More Orderly World Order View requiring precious little, and possibly even no informative data from the masses.

    And such will not necessarily be a bad, mad, fundamentally radicalised thing with the internetworking of things and internets working things ..... although of course IT certainly can be

    After all, is not the well proven weakest link that needs to be replaced for Stellar COSMIC Use with any SMARTR Advancing System, and which bypasses serial personalised abuse and collective corporate misuse, not the Simple PEBKAC Problem?

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Other stories you might like