After reading the whole thread…
Without clutching the pearls too much here, I do agree that the euphemism about domestic violence perhaps is going a bit far. As a person with some knowledge and understanding about domestic violence (and also how modern technology can help and drastically exacerbate it), I think it’s probably overcompensating to clamp down on home automation excessively to prevent such events from occuring. The sad truth is … the world has awful, mean, evil people in it. And sometimes they do awful things. And we should do everything we can to prevent that, within reason.
But sometimes, no matter how hard we try, that cannot occur – and our best best is to understand that fate and chance plays a role, people will always suffer as long we live and breathe as individuals and a species on this earth, and we cannot control everything. Indeed, much is out of our control. But especially the actions of others – most especially those who would have occasion or tendency to harm us in ways such as domestic violence.
We should do what we can to prevent, but we must also accept that these things will happen – and do our best to care for those affected by it, after such awful things happen. Sometimes, the best we can do is be there, offer an escape, a shoulder to cry on – and witness and grieve. And then be there to help recover and support (whether individually to someone, safely, or by offering financial or material support to them or programs).
As far as H.A. (home automation) goes – this is my thinking: like any tool, it’s really just an object, a lump of matter (or, in this case, code and an idea) in the universe. It’s what people do with it, once in their hands, that really is key. And if a person is awful, they’re going to do awful things with it.
But, we should not forget the possibility, too – that it might be good enough someday that if someone is being assaulted, harmed, abused…and in that moment, that could not be caught before, because the victim was alone and isolated, they cry for help…?
Maybe our systems, someday, will know who to call – and make that call. And help might arrive.
In this way, I like to think that AI (or bad programming on the part of abusers, in the vein of poetic justice) might call exactly for the right help at that moment and arrive to help the person, or at least intervene. And I think the “bad guys” who institute home automation and AI to harm? Well, they should read more of these stories about Siri finding ways to “accidentally” call the police before they bother proliferating HA to use on a victim. You never know what the assistant might misunderstand and do.
Anyway, those are my thoughts – good thread for discussion, especially given the holiday season and the isolation many are experiencing. Tonight, I’m going to say a little prayer folks affected by domestic violence…and see if I can’t get my HA to say it with me