With the advent of chat bots and devices you put in your house to listen to you ask questions to do your bidding AI has to be in our futures. Like in the movie back to the future when a version of Marty enters the house and tells the TV wall to put on a load of TV channels. We’ll be able to do that sort of thing and more. It isn’t going to be as lame as it is now when all we can do is turn on light bulbs and let a thermostat regulate the temperature of the house. I am expecting something we could call intelligent. We are right to worry about privacy but, the device doesn’t have to listen and record everything. It just has to pay attention after the magic keyword is used to wake it up. Then it can answer to us and help us out in our lives. Better still if the AI in our homes can learn from our behaviours and adjust. Our lives can be improved and assisted by computer algorithms in the form of artificial intelligence.
What do we have so far?
- Amazon Echo
- Google Home
Some of those are promises of things to come, but we nearly have them to use and abuse. Siri will have to improve and maybe the new tech (Viv) from the people who made Siri will give us the big jump needed. Being able to ask a question which refers to a previous question will be marvellous. Artificial intelligence will get better at understanding the context of what we say. Queries on top of queries will be so useful. Having a computer understand what we want from plain natural language will be the game changer. The systems will be able to understand what we want and offer us intelligent choices. Perhaps it can give us options we never would have thought about and really be helpful in a proactive way. Not that we want a busybody know it all, telling us “I wouldn’t do it like that if I were you!” At the same time the thought of having a proper virtual assistant is appealing. If the AI hears the doors being slammed and lots of shouting it could start playing music we’ve used before for relaxing and calming down. It could ask if there is anything it could help with. It could just shut up and let us get on with it too.
Artificial intelligence is more than telling the computer to play our music
Artificial Intelligence will be us having a conversation with our computer. We will be augmenting and enhancing what we can do with our natural brains. Like when you work as part of a team of people or even when you just have a work partner you use to bounce ideas off. Two heads are better than one and a virtual assistant made from artificial intelligence will be better than that. Will we be able to configure the electronic Virtual Assistant to keep track of our previous thoughts and questions. It could let us know that we tried something before and it wasn’t too successful and perhaps we should try a different approach this time,
Getting the AI to help out
I would like the AI to remember what questions I made the day before and ask if I want the information again. When I wake up it could say “Good morning Dave. You have a few emails waiting for you. Here are the most important of them needing a response first. I’ve already replied to the message from your brother. I suggested to him a meeting on Friday would be better because you don’t have time on Thursday. Today is the day to pay the water bill, shall I give the OK to your bank account to pay it? The weather is looking good for the day and you won’t need to take the umbrella. By the way, you forgot to plug in the Tesla last night so I plugged it in for you. You have to use the car to get to your 5 o’clock meeting. Is there anything else you want me to organise for you?” Then the Artificial Intelligence device goes quiet and starts to play some music to aid the start of the day.
Some of those things the Artificial Intelligence might not have inform us about. It could just make sure the bill got paid on time and only let us know if we asked about it. Same with the car getting plugged in and charged up ready to go. It could be like the house elf did it for us and we only have to jump in the car with the confidence that it will have a full set of batteries.
At the moment the AI available to us can only do one command at a time. It will be handy when we can tell it to turn on the television and choose the channel, turn the lights down low, lock the doors, and turn on the popcorn machine. We might have to get around that by setting up a chain of events to one command – “Siri – Set up film night…”
Artificial Intelligence learning our behaviour
What will also be useful is for the environment to learn what we need and just do it. So if it is thursday night and we arrive at a certain time the house knows it’s likely we want a film night and asks us if we want to set everything up. All we need to do is dive onto the sofa and relax.
Will Artificial Intelligence compromise our privacy
Some people will be worried about AI being invasive. Privacy is important, there will need to be some checks and balances put in place. Any private information needs to be kept private. If information has to be used to make the Artificial Intelligence function fully, then the data should be anonymous. We don’t want outside entities such as big companies, government or criminals being able to use our data against us. I feel confident that these Artificial Intelligence systems will be protected and we won’t need to worry too much. I say this because we are all aware of what could go wrong and the software is growing up in a time when security is considered important.
Benefits to Artificial Intelligence
Allowing Artificial Intelligence in our lives has benefits. We all want to get more done and time is often running away from us. Using technology is one way we can be more efficient. It’ll be great to let computer intelligence take some of the load off our shoulders. It has to be set up right and used properly, but that’s the same with any tools we use. Artificial Intelligence is a tool that is coming and will let us get more from life. Boring and mundane tasks can be passed on to the AI so we can do something more interesting.
What will you ask Artificial Intelligence to sort out for you?
- People using the Amazon Echo use it to ask questions and provide facts. So you could ask it what is the capital of a particular country.
- Ask the Amazon echo to read your audiobook to you.
- The Amazon echo will tell you jokes. They might not be that funny
- Start and stop timers which would be handy if you’re in the kitchen and your hands are covered in flour.
- Tel the device to play a specific music track you want to listen to.