Google is reportedly developing an AI assistant that analyzes personal photos, files and search results with the aim of telling “your life story.”
This news comes from CNBC in which documents emerged showing that the tech giant recently held an “internal summit” where company executives and employees presented Project Ellman. According to the piece, the AI will provide a “bird’s eye view” of a person’s life by pulling files from your Google account and using written biographies and adjacent content to understand context. This process involves searching through the information files to identify key moments. The Google employees claimed that Project Ellman could infer what day a user was born, who their parents are, and whether they have any siblings.
It doesn’t stop there, because apparently it can highlight chapters of your life, like the years you spent in college or living in a certain city. Ellman can even learn your eating habits. For example, if you upload some photos of pizza and pasta, the AI can infer that you might be a big fan of Italian food. The technology isn’t limited to one person either, as it can identify friends and family, plus social events you’ve attended.
Based on the report’s description alone, Project Ellman is very reminiscent of Memories on Google Photos, albeit on a much broader scale.
CNBC states that the presentation continued by demonstrating Ellman Chat, which was described as ChatGPT, but with the ability to “answer previously impossible questions.” Based on the examples given, the questions are not necessarily impossible; just a pain, especially if you’re a forgetful person. For example, you can ask the chatbot when your brother was last there or for suggestions on a place to go based on the photos you upload.
Then we come to what may be one of Project Ellman’s secret purposes. By analyzing the screenshots that users upload, the technology can make all kinds of predictions: from products you might buy, what interests you have, to future travel plans. The presenters also pitched the idea that it can learn which websites you visit.
Project Ellman may know you better than you know yourself.
Analysis: Everything about you
We don’t think we need to tell you how creepy this all sounds. We’re talking about an AI that dives deep into your files and screams for every piece of data it can grab. Where does all that information go?
It is suggested that Gemini, Google’s New Large Language Model (LLM), will be the model that powers Project Ellman because it is multimodal, or in other words, it can accept multiple forms of input besides text. Generative AIs require a constant stream of content to stay up to date. It looks like Google is crossing privacy lines, looking for more data to fuel and grow Gemini.
Granted, there’s no guarantee Ellman will ever see the light of day. A Google spokesperson told CNBC that this is all an “early internal exploration.” If there are plans for a release, developers will take the time to ensure it is useful to people while keeping user privacy top of mind.
We recommend that you take this statement with a grain of salt. Despite their alleged efforts, the company has a storied history when it comes to privacy issues. This causes the company to get into trouble. Just look at the Wikipedia page about the subject; it’s huge.
Hopefully this is all an exaggeration and the tech giant doesn’t launch a digital vacuum cleaner that sucks everything up.
If you’re looking for ways to protect your data, check out Ny Breaking’s list of the best ad blockers for 2023.