We hope you caught the launch of The Digest last week, but if not you can read it here. This week we discuss the rise of A.I…
Friday saw me, my bridesmaids and our mums enjoying a long boozy lunch at The Drapers Arms. Over slow cooked beef shin and silky smooth mash we were discussing the various breast pumps on the market and their benefits – as you do. In between one of my friends rushing to the loo to express, we commented on the new Elvie, which is seemingly a wondrous contraption that slips into the bra, and allows the wearer to pump to their heart’s content with no one really knowing what’s going on. Stealth pumping if you will – simultaneously elevating the need to sit in a broom cupboard for hours on end and negating the need to clean tricky cords. Sounds wonderful right? Well it currently retails at £250 so that rules it out for many people.
However, the next morning, when I woke up, imagine my surprise when midway through a pointless Facebook scroll, up pops an ad for Elvie. Now granted, I am a 30-year old woman BUT having never been pregnant or searched for pumping appliances, it did seem quite the coincidence.
So it was with real interest that I read the interview with Black Eyed Peas megastar Will.i.am and Krissi Murison in The Sunday Times Magazine (PAYWALL). In it he explains the big business that is DATA. We’ve all watched Black Mirror and we do know that our appliances are gathering information on us (or for us depending on your viewpoint) – but the questions is, do we care? We’re so quick to hand over our email address in order to access free wifi, does it matter to me that the adverts I’m seeing are relevant?
In 21st Lessons for the 21st Century, Yuval Noah Harari explains how this gathering of data will morph so that a small amount of people at the top will hold all the data, just like the wealthiest 1% in the world currently owns half the world’s wealth. Data is the new currency – so are we going to embrace it or try to opt out.
It led me to think – would you allow a restaurant algorithm to decide what you’re eating for dinner? Think back to the last time you had a bad case of food envy (or ‘futterneid’ as the Germans call it). Could this have been avoided if A.I had chosen for you? I kind of wanted to order the roasted cauliflower on Friday, but in the end I went with the pack and opted for the beef shin because I couldn’t really be bothered to deal with people commenting on my veggie choice. Completely stupid and irrational, maybe an algorithm could have overridden this for me. Determined to stick to a diet but have no will power? Much like the way any mealtime decisions were taken out of my hands on a recent detox trip at The FX Mayr Clinic, A.I could provide the solution here, choosing the most nutritiously sound option, based on your personal goals.
For now the most ‘techy’ restaurants we’ve got in London are probably Pan-Asian chain Inamo, or perhaps the Dinner Time Story pop up that saw Le Petit Chef take over our table with an animation. Out of the Blue at the Berkeley saw us enclosed in a box and taken on a multisensory spirit journey, meanwhile Bompas & Parr can always be relied open for a multi-sensory experience that pushes boundaries – their latest project being an underground booze cruise under a shopping centre.
For now this might sound mere science fiction, but we think it’s food for thought.