“Insightful host” is a speculative design project that reflects on the definition of a “smart” system and questions the increasing development of devices that collect and analyse data on a daily basis.
The project focuses on an IT system, imagined in a near future, that enables its users to organize tailored dinner events. Using a calendar application interface users create their events and choose a specific purpose for each of them.
Based on this purpose, the system then takes over the dinner preparation by defining the menu and inviting guests. To do this, a custom software collects and analyses data about its users. It has, for example, access to their social media contacts, web navigation and purchase history.
Several scenarios have been developed to explain the system and some of its possible versions. The approach used aims at exploring situations where the machine assists individuals in tasks that they cannot perform themselves. If the machine proves to be useful, does the collection of personal data become more acceptable?