Remember "Clippy"? The annoying anthropomorphic paper clip foisted upon unsuspecting users of Office? Well according to tech blog GigaOm, Microsoft has taken the concept behind Clippy and "turned the dial up to 11" with its new, even more intrusive animated life-coach, known as "Guardian Angel."
R.I.P. and good riddance, 1997-2007.
Patented in 2006, Guardian Angel is "an intelligent personalized agent" that "monitors and evaluates a user's environment to assist in decision-making processes on behalf of the user." Like a manlier Fairy Godmother. Or a similarly omniscient HAL from "2001: A Space Oddysey."
So what kind of decisions will Guardian Angel assist you in making?
"The guardian angel can... take automated action on behalf of the user for various purposes (e.g., to compensate for memory loss, to remind a user to take medicine, to assist in social interactions by indicating whether the user has met an individual before, to gauge the appropriateness of jokes or comments given the demographics of the audience, etc.)."
Microsoft: all the computing power in the world, and still using it just to try to fit in.