We're back from the future -- CES 2020 (The Daily Charge, 1/21/2020)
The Daily Charge
We're back from the future or at least the preview of it.
Here's a roundup of our insights from CES 2020.
Stick around for your Daily Charge.
Good morning and welcome to The Daily Charge.
It's Tuesday, January 21st.
I'm Ben [UNKNOWN] And let's wind things up for 2020
This is our first show back since CS and boy is there a lot to unpack.
My experience was full of fury, but I'm hoping we can start the show with some good news.
Ben, please tell me you had a different experience Experience covering CES.
Yes I had fun, as usual.
So you actually liked it?
Yeah, it was a quieter show.
I think we would probably both agree about that.
There were a couple of standouts that are worth pointing out.
I thought Impossible Pork Is probably the most interesting thing but in addition to that impossible bacon was what I think everybody was really hoping for.
Did you have any of it?
No, I did not.
I didn't try it.
But you know, I'm somebody because I was raised kosher.
I didn't actually have pig products until later in life.
I can attest to the fact that they're delicious.
So I guess if more people wanna eat this stuff and it's vegetarian then that's great.
And it's a nice change of pace to actually do like food tech at CES.
Was that really the biggest thing that stuck out to you at CES?
I thought that was interesting.
I thought NEON was interesting because it was kind of like, well, what is it?
There were some interesting Amazon news too where they basically sold a bunch more Alexa products.
But other than that, yeah.
It wasn't like a huge show in that regard.
There were also like foldable screen PCs.
I got a chance to look at those, and those were also pretty interesting.
So kind of all over the place.
Yeah, I did feel it was very much a boring future that they were kind of showing off there.
Neon, I have no idea where that's planning on going.
I mean if it's going the way that Bixby went I don't care.
I do not care about it.
Yeah and I think that will stand out from last year's CS was also like impossible me right?
Yeah yeah they're doing a good job of showing themselves off at the show because it's gadgets, gadgets, gadgets and then.
Highly processed veggie food.
So it's easier for them to do standout stuff.
So there was also it's worth mentioning the sex tech stuff too, that was newer at CES this year.
And it didn't resonate as much as I expected it to.
There was such a brouhaha about it ahead of time and then they presented it at the show.
I think they were in a quiet section of the sales expo.
They were in the heatlh and fitness area.
Yeha the health and wellness section.
And okay, they showed it off, there was some stuff written about it.
But I don't think that it really, it didn't get as much attention as I think was expected.
So what was your high and low of CES?
I liked seeing the foldable screen PCs.
I thought that was an interesting idea, so I guess that would be a high sort of.
A low, all right, I don't know.
There was, I wish there was more to it as far as the voice wars.
It was a little bit quieter this year.
So we'll see if they come back with more next year.
I guess I'll just go with my low.
I don't think I really had a high but this is what frustrated me so much at the tech show.
I saw it in a mirror, I saw it in storage box that was used for marijuana.
I saw it used on May which, no, don't do that, we visited [UNKNOWN] headquarters in Las Vegas and decided it'd be a fun surprise to make a profile on me using my face for my CNET profile This is a massive invasion of privacy to me, but the company saw it and thought, Hey, your photo is public online and we have complete rights do this.
Yes, it is legal.
Its completely they are allowed to do this.
We're allowed to do it, which is interesting.
Which some might argue is the problem.
And this kinda brings me to the next story.
One of the wildest things I read this weekend.
The New York Times report on a facial recognition company called clear view, which is partnered with hundreds of police departments across the US.
Most facial recognition works this way.
You have a photo in a database and it scans faces in public and matches that person with that photo.
So unless you're already logged in there, it doesn't really like work on you.
Clearview works in a much different way.
The entire internet is basically the database.
Clearview AI, had basically scraped Facebook, Venmo, YouTube, anywhere where there's a photo available online and attached to a name publically It has it.
So the way that a clear view would work is if I took a photo of you.
I would, it would scour this massive database that's already scrapped the entire Internet to match it with somebody instead.
So that is the future that That we have to look far too with AI and facial recognition.
So if I'm reading into this correctly too, Clearview, what they did was against the terms and conditions of a lot of those websites, but again it's completely legal for them to do that.
Like they were able to create this database.
I believe of billions of different photos.
And it doesn't go against anything from the government.
The government can't say that, you weren't allowed to do that.
No, yeah, there are no laws on facial recognition, at least federally.
There are laws in Illinois and Texas, but This is different where it's scraping the website.
Yeah it's perfectly legal.
But there are also some additional laws in what, Summerville, Massachusetts, San Francisco.
That's specifically for police are banned from using facial recognition.
So those are Some additional layers, but yeah, there are some pretty gaping holes here as well.
Yeah, so the way that this works is more like if I had taken a photo of you.
It's like Shazam for faces.
Where it looks through this whole database, like yeah, and then it'd find maybe your photo on LinkedIn.
Find your photo on Facebook.
More likely than not it would probably find your photo from this video and be able to say, that is Ben of CNET, he covers Amazon.
And I'm not going to say on air where you live or anything like that.
But it would be able to Note that detail and connect with you there.
Yeah we have an editor that works here that is extremely suspicious of getting his photo taken and putting it anywhere online.
And I used to think he was super paranoid, but apparently He was very much onto something.
Yeah, I was looking for my ski mask before I came onto the show, but I think I threw it out by accident.
But yeah, I mean, that's just how it is.
We are all logged in some database for the future where anyone can find us which That is the future.
I mean, obviously, there are privacy advocates working against them and lawmakers who are hoping to establish rules against this but honestly, the way it is right now they can just do all this and that's just how it is.
So if you have your photo online, more than likely you're being tracked.
For the Daily Charge, I'm Alfred.
Thanks for joining us.