If you’re the type of person who doesn’t like using Google Now or posting on Facebook because you don’t want tech companies knowing about your life, then you might want to avoid talking about your daily plans on any elevator designed by Microsoft. The Next Web points out that Microsoft Research has been working on a “smart elevator” that tries to predict exactly what floor you want to be taken to by listening to your conversations and following your daily routines.
So for instance, the elevator might automatically know to take you up to the 9th floor of a building where you work when you arrive every morning and might also know to take you down to the 7th floor if it hears you mention that you have a meeting there in the middle of the day.
The project is part of Microsoft Research’s efforts to broaden the powers of predictive computing that anticipates our needs without being told what to do. Google’s Google Now personal assistant software is one example of this while Amazon’s research into “anticipatory shipping” — where the company ships products that you’re likely to order based on your past buying history to nearby warehouses before you actually order them — is another.
Or as Microsoft Research boss Peter Lee puts it, “We think in the future, you won’t be operating computers, but instead computers will be working on your behalf.”