When Technophilia Rules: From Coffee-pot Cameras to Smart Appliances and Beyond

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Diet courtesy of Amazon

 

In a recent Globe and Mail column, Sylvain Charlebois, dean of the Faculty of Management at Dalhousie University, wrote about how technology is revolutionising food distribution and consumption.  He suggests that online ordering and home delivery is making consumers more rational, more informed, and even healthier. A dubious claim, but let’s go with it for a minute.  The professor wrote excitedly about the prospect of automatic ordering of groceries and delivery to a consumer’s fridge.  He imagined companies delivering to our kitchens the food we need to better our health, based on data downloaded from people’s portable devices.  He calls this sort of diet management the “fitbitization” of food, after the ubiquitous wrist-worn reminder of people’s inactivity.

Picture a scenario whereby Amazon analyzes personal data from our wrist-worn devices, determines our nutritional requirements, and has Alexa order us to eat more broccoli.  It’s technology run amok – the result of technophilia. Continue reading “When Technophilia Rules: From Coffee-pot Cameras to Smart Appliances and Beyond”

A Suggested Bid for Amazon HQ2

“My offer is this….nothing.”

Ever since Amazon.com announced that it was searching for a location for its “second headquarters,“ cities across North America have been falling over each other trying to make a case for their own sites.  In Canada, representatives from Vancouver, Toronto, Calgary, Waterloo, Montreal and Halifax have all said publicly that they should be considered, and committed to submitting a “bid” for the privilege of hosting a company that promises tens of thousands of jobs, a new focus for technology-driven business, and bragging rights associated with hosting one of the world’s most valuable companies.

To those developing lucrative packages with possible tax holidays, direct incentives, subsidies, and other contributions, I suggest that they instead offer the Michael Corleone package…nothing. Continue reading “A Suggested Bid for Amazon HQ2”