“You are a real boy…as real as I’ve ever made one.”

If you are a Sci-Fi fan, then you might recognize that a line from Steven Spielberg’s A.I. (Artificial Intelligence), a futuristic movie about robot with very human characteristics. Since seeing that movie, I have been excited about the prospect of that technology becoming reality. Well, it has already happened and the technology is moving ever close to the ‘real boy.’

Whether you are a fan of Cortana, Siri, Alexa or some other virtual assistant, you have likely stopped typing in any search terms that you perform on your phone or tablet, and now allow the AI to do the work of:

  • converting your speech to text
  • finding the results based on the search terms, your location, past web behavior
  • converting the best search result text to speech and reading the text to you

Also, if you have visited any company’s website lately, you were undoubtedly greeted by a chatbot designed to quickly address your reason for visiting, and direct you to the information you needed.

I have come to understand that machine learning is used to make predictions based on previous, or learned, behaviors such as online interactions, question an responses, buying habits, etc. Then AI uses the data to mimic human behaviors—and quite well!

In fact, AI is mimicking the behaviors so well that those of us who are working from home—or otherwise socially distanced, sheltering in place and self-quarantined—might soon be able to have face-to-face conversations again, but with realistic bot friends.

Though we may not be able to share a cup of coffee, we will be able to share stories and laughs as these AI “friends” become more humanlike.

But just remember this: everything you say will be used against you.

CNN.com article on realistic Chat Bots

Published by Be better.

Working on social and economic progress.

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