Artificial intelligence guides you through Zurich Airport: The Google service is causing data privacy advocates to frown.
Where is my check-in counter? How do I get to the Bye-Bye-Bar? And where can I find the departure gate? Anyone who is not very familiar with Zurich Airport should in future be able to rely on artificial intelligence in the “Google Maps” app: You pull out your smartphone, briefly film your surroundings with the camera, and then point to an app with large arrows In which direction you have to go to get to your destination.
The function is “very easy” to master, says Mark Schwarz from Zurich Airport: “The app also recognizes when you are on the upper floor and shows you the way to the next escalator. The navigation should feel as if someone who knows the area is at your side. “
Artificial intelligence with teething problems
Worked with Google and Zurich Airport for three years and developed “Live View”. Among other things, Google employees photographed every corner of the airport building with a 360-degree camera. “These photos are our reference data,” says Petra Ehmann from Google, “we compare the users’ photos with ours and determine where the user is at Zurich Airport.”
We need to calibrate the app even more precisely
“Live View” is only available as a beta version so far – the function can still have certain teething problems. This was shown, for example, in the SRF test. To get from Check-In 2 to a specific ATM in Check-In-1, the app chose a footpath that leads through the departure area. However, this area can only be entered by those who have a valid flight ticket.
“We have to calibrate the app even more precisely to rule this out in the future,” says Mark Schwarz from Zurich Airport. Otherwise, “Live View” is constantly being improved and expanded. At some point it should also be possible for flight passengers to only have to enter their flight number, and the app will show them the exact route from home to the departure gate.
Payment is made with personal data
The digital tour guide is available free of charge in the “Google Maps” smartphone app. Nevertheless, the function has its price: our data. If you use the app, Google not only knows your exact location data, but also believes you with current recordings from the airport building. “And it is very opaque what is done with this data,” Google criticizes Bruno Baeriswyl, long-time data protection officer for the canton of Zurich and now an independent data protection expert.
The function is based on artificial intelligence. This lives from the fact that she learns and collects more and more information
Google emphasizes that the users’ recordings are only used for data comparison. Nevertheless, Baeriswyl is skeptical: “The function is based on artificial intelligence. This lives from the fact that she learns and collects more and more information. That’s why I can’t imagine the recordings and location information not being saved. ” There is also the risk that Google will commercialize the data. For example, the app users at the airport could steer past certain shops and pay for this preferential treatment.
When asked about this, Mark Schwarz from Zurich Airport denies such intentions: “We just want to make sure that our visitors find what they are looking for better.” On request, Petra Ehmann from Google does not rule out the possibility that Google will commercialize the data from “Live View”: “That is still a long way off. First, let’s work on making the feature perfect. Only then can you start thinking about everything else. “
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