Thursday, January 23, 2014

Throwback Thursday: Human-Like Artificial Intelligence

Happy Throwback Thursday!

In 2001, the movie A.I. Artificial Intelligence opened in theaters. It’s a movie exploring the concept of artificial intelligence with the ability to think and feel emotions. Since 2001, it seems like A.I. has become more of a norm than it was before.  Last week noHold shared the movie “Her” starring Joaquin Phoenix and Scarlett Johansson (the voice of the AI). I recently had the time (and free movie passes) to go enjoy it for myself. When you get past the initial amazement of a human falling in love with his Operating System, you begin to see that the movie challenges you to think outside the box and wonder “what if.” It also opens your eyes to how much of today’s world is already emotionally connected to technology.

These movies may seem fictional and completely out of the norm, but if you look at how much technology has advanced in such a short amount of time, it doesn't seem as far-fetched as we think. For example, Siri is one of the most popular functions of an iPhone, not only for the convenience, but for entertainment as well. I know people who talk to Siri when they are bored just to see what she says. In fact, one of our Virtual Agents was actually proposed to! Developers are beginning to see that consumers want to converse with Artificial Intelligence that has some sort of personality.

Leading analyst firms are already predicting the growth and success of smart machines. Soon, everyone will be engaging with smart technologies on a daily basis. The concept of emotions and smart machines is in its very early stages. One example is Intel’s demonstration of the Edison Chip at CES 2014. They showed an example of how the Edison chip can be used as a helping hand to parents, being able to check your child’s vitals or turning on the bottle warmer when it hears the baby cry. This device analyzes the situation and responds accordingly with somewhat of a mothers nurturing sense.

Seems like the next step is for A.I. is to mimic or get closer to human emotion…what do you think? Should Virtual Assistants have the capability to detect and respond with emotion? Some already do, but to what extent?