You like to take yourself as a selfie? You are not reluctant, far from it, to publish photos of yourself on social networks? Are you a bit of a narcissist? What Facebook has in store for you: a personal paparazzi robot that will take pictures of you all day long, never tired of your image. An innovation that says a lot about the contemporary ego trip.
Facebook has filed a patent for a robot that follows you everywhere to take pictures of you. We have known for a long time that intimacy is a notion that tends to crumble. But with this invention, it's a whole area that's falling apart.
Smartphones, and the multitude of applications that come with them, have changed users' photographic habits. Taking a snapshot of everything we do has become almost a reflex: in restaurants, at work, at the gym, with family, ... alone. A strange rite generally followed by a mandatory post on social networks. Now Facebook wants to push you even further into this addiction.
The social networking giant filed a new patent for a robot that automatically wanders around, follows you around the house and captures your precious moments of life thanks to its integrated camera and microphone.
Taking pictures isn't all this robot can do. It can facilitate cats video on Facebook. The patent also states that the robot can transport goods. In addition, it comes with an automatic cooling system to control its temperature.
The idea for this personal paparazzi came from Scott C. Wiley, a Facebook employee who previously worked for a robotics company specializing in telepresence.
The telepresence robots, which seem to be the inspiration for this project, are essentially videoconferencing screens mounted on mobile bases. Professionals use these robots to remotely attend meetings or galas, projecting their faces on the screen and interacting with people as the robot walks around the room.
A pararazzi at home
The Facebook paparazzi robot works in much the same way; CNN believes that there is enormous potential for this new product. Still, having a robot following you around seems like a rather disconcerting idea. Certainly, this robot may be able to capture your best moments in all honesty, sharing with you your personal or family moments. But the perverse deviations are lurking in the shadows. Having such an artificial intelligence device at home that monitors everything you do could quickly become problematic. An intrusive, disturbing presence that flirts with ethical boundaries. Indeed, nothing is said in the patent about the security guarantees of this type of invention. Where are the images stored, who can access them, how, why? These are questions that we are entitled to ask when we know Facebook's appetite for our personal data and the most secret parts of our private lives.