“Gadgets that can recognize handwriting, receive wireless data from TV shows, and read minds through artificial intelligence were among the hottest tech toys at the American International Toy Fair in New York.”

At the American International Toy Fair, a new interactive toy that will be marketed to children was introduced. It employs artificial intelligence, fuzzy logic and psychographic profiling.

This device attempts to model one’s thinking and decision making paths. After a few trial questions, this “toy” can be alarmingly accurate in mimicking thought patterns. These kinds of instruments could potentially become convincing enough that a young impressionable mind might allow the device to do some important thinking or deciding for them.

Fifty years ago there was the Magic Eight Ball with yes, no and maybe answers. The Eight-Ball was a toy. This technological device is scary, is named RADICA, and it only costs $10.

The UCD (Universal Communication Device: AKA Smartphone; Smart Tablet; Smart Devise) is equally as concerning. It has full audio, full video, instant access, worldwide reach, 24/7, total portability among many (and daily increasing) other features and apps.

That said, the temptation is also to let this UCD do our thinking for us. Picture this. A banner ad pops into your WiFi [or other wireless] community delivered by an enticing and engaging professional with the promise of a “now or never” opportunity that costs no front-end money yet pretends to have everlasting benefits. Because it is such a no-brainer…you bite…you’re hooked with a single signal from your device.

“A bit later with your UCD, you switch to your news chapter for your favorite media rep to tell you what and how to think about the events of the day surrounded by unexplained and undocumented polls, out of context comments, staged video clips and various other influential techniques, persuasions and controlled data.”

These events are all operative now…or about to be. What is even more alarming is that when we surveyed a reasonable random sampling of people of various ages, conditions and stations in life in research for this book, the consensus was “I’m too busy to think about making decisions or how I make them.”

In other words, “I’m too busy to think or make objective decisions.”

Large corporations, the various branches of government, many trade and professional organizations, institutional organizations and others want us and encourage us to practice “herd mentality.” They generally do not promote independent thinking and/or decision making. Do you ever wonder why?

Going along with the crowd has really never been an acceptable alternative to independent decision making. Blindly following the trends will remain an increasingly oppressive threat.

Technology is a magical thing. It can potentially cause us to live longer, healthier and more productive lives. But here’s the caution: the tail cannot wag the dog. We need to use and control technology and not allow technology to use and control us.

The primary distinction of our individual skin-on thinking versus the kind that comes from a machine or device is the creative, innovative and emotional kind. We must stay in control of that distinction and direction for our own survival and existence.

Summary

This Zillion Dollar Thinking introduction was written over ten years ago. But, if we had only one of these events that should warrant scrutiny in today’s particular season…it should be how recklessly, gullibly and believably we blindly accept polls and poll data. And, if they were not effective, they would not be showcased as they are in today’s media. Why is that?

They are easy to mis-state, mis-source, mis-inform and manipulate. And, if you look at the typical margin of error, it can often represent a ten point swing. So, it is not unusual that margins are footnotes in very small type.

The major point here is (more prophecy) that polls are and will be a primary vehicle in trying to influence the next (and some say…most important) election. From a decisioning perspective, it is vital to get to the real truth behind any polling information which includes the questions and the way they are framed. It is truly worth your search and discovery time to research the dynamics of polls and poll data.

As always…you decide.