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Google Mulls Boredom Meter
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Whoopty
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Whoopty,
User Rank: Ninja
1/27/2014 | 10:19:16 AM
Distasteful
The clinical nature of "user engagement," is horrible. It sounds so robotic and inhumane. 

I can also tell you now, any product that tries to track me via camera isn't going in my home. That includes any Google products and Microsoft's Kinect camera. Not a chance. 
gasdetectors
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gasdetectors,
User Rank: Apprentice
1/27/2014 | 10:26:05 AM
Re: Distasteful
extrapolate - if the softare can detect your mood it should also be able to detect other emotions which could tailor games to maximise impact... you could really mess with peoples warm and fuzzies that way.
RobPreston
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RobPreston,
User Rank: Author
1/27/2014 | 10:46:57 AM
Re: Distasteful
Count me out as well. I don't see any direct benefit to me...unless I'm going to be paid for opting in or penalized for opting out.
Lorna Garey
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Lorna Garey,
User Rank: Author
1/27/2014 | 12:31:26 PM
Re: Distasteful
This does sound like something that would have to be run in a model similar to paid surveys or focus groups, where people get a modest amount of cash, or maybe a contest entry or merchandise, to give feedback or allow their reactions to be measured. Google could likely charge advertisers a premium over what it pays participants.

Still, it's just creepy. We have a Kinect, and sometimes I swear the thing is staring at me.
jagibbons
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jagibbons,
User Rank: Ninja
1/27/2014 | 12:53:55 PM
Re: Distasteful
This validates those paranoid folks at the office that put a post-it over their laptop webcam, even after we've promised that IT isn't watching.
cbabcock
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cbabcock,
User Rank: Strategist
1/27/2014 | 1:37:21 PM
The younger generation won't look at it that way
I think Google would only have to pay a modest amount for a large number of users to sign up and offer valuable feedback. I don't want to be one of them, but for those already tweeting and living part of their lives on Facebook, they'd be willing to participate partly out of the sense their opinions are having an impact and counting somewhere. That doesn't seem to be the case for any of the commenters here, but we are making use of a more individualized outlet. The younger generation is going to be much more comfortable with social media than we are. There will also be a steady state share of the workforce underemployed and trying to make money from home. Here's a smple way to do it.

 
Lorna Garey
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Lorna Garey,
User Rank: Author
1/27/2014 | 1:44:09 PM
Re: Distasteful
Not so paranoid, jagibbons - there was a recently published exploit that let an attacker take control of a webcam and spy on the user. I personally stuck some masking tape over my daughter's laptop webcam. There are even reports of disabling warning lights:

http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/12/19/researchers-hack-webcam-while-disabling-warning-lights/?_php=true&_type=blogs&_r=0
jagibbons
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jagibbons,
User Rank: Ninja
1/27/2014 | 1:48:15 PM
Re: Distasteful
Hadn't heard of that one, Lorna Garey. Maybe I'll have to cover mine unless I'm actually using it. Although, I can't image someone wanting to sit and look at my mug all day.
SaneIT
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SaneIT,
User Rank: Ninja
1/28/2014 | 8:47:42 AM
Re: Distasteful
Well most IT departments have enough to do that they can't sit around watching hundreds of employees sipping coffee at their desks.  The possibility is there though.  I will say from experience, not watching cameras but monitoring communication that most people are very boring to monitor so if Google is going to be keeping track of people like this they better set the bar really low when it comes to detecting mood.  One thing I'm surprised we haven't seen from Google is analysis based on what you didn't click.  Think of how often you search for something then skip over sites because you know they are scraping someone else's content or you know that they have paywalls. If Google could see my face when I hit those sites it would change searching forever.
jagibbons
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jagibbons,
User Rank: Ninja
1/28/2014 | 9:00:04 AM
Re: Distasteful
That's what I tell folks. There's too much work to do to sit watching employees all day.

As for the low threshold of watching activity, the algorithm would have to be very sensitive to look at miniscule changes in body language, powered by a strong big-data engine in the background to sift through all of that data.
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