AI: The Magic is in the Personal.
How AI Agents will need to find the magic in personal communication.
The first part in a ten part series exploring the future of the internet in combinations: the art & science of mixing AI, IoT, Blockchains, and Data. Follow the series on Medium: https://medium.com/@AkBlackwood
So every startup is now an AI startup, apparently.
Conferences, Events, Invite-Only’s, Open Pitches, Endless Meetings, even Elevators all have had the same words attached this past year: “…….with AI”.
On 3 continents over the past year I’ve heard the same tag line. “We build [innovation] for [something] with AI”.
Cool. So, apparently, startups are innovative if they use AI; dog walking, baby care, IceCream Makers, customer service, underwear are all better with AI.
That’s great, but where is it going — if all these companies are successful, how will this work?
in the near future we will need to manage as many relationships with AI Agents as we do with humans over social media?
Image the scenario, where, all the services and companies you interact with now; Spotify, Maps, Instagram, Facebook, Linkedin, Pinterest, were all self-aware; and were actively attempting to engage you.
That is the second part to each startup’s pitch:
By suddenly having an active AI Agent who can communicate with you [the user] they will increase the metrics important to the startup [and their investors].
This would suck. As a human who appreciates digital privacy, I have the suspicion this would be like all those randomly added people on facebook suddenly vying for your attention.
As the amount of fully formed AI Agents we interact with grows in volume and complication, we will inevitably have a growth period where we are ini-dated by “further details needed” requests as we train the AI Agents we interact with to understand us better; all these requests could quickly become overwhelming and create a future nightmare scenario.
Imagine that if all these separate AI Agents can be expressed as children; could you you stand in a room full of these children vying for your attention; showing you objects, telling you stories and offering to go on adventures — all by engaging you with requests and low levels conversation? For how long?
I imagine a different future — one where the humans are in control of thier interactions, and where personal needs are the first priority of the AI Agents we choose to interact with.
There is where the magic comes in; personal attention to MY needs; not just a mid-30’s male with a specific ethnographic background and current likes: but me. I’ve worked long and hard to understand how machines understand the human condition, and to say it simply: humans are hard to understand. What we wanted 10 minutes ago is potentially irrelevant to what we want now; combinations of objects and places will yield totally different results, needs and wants; and of course there is our human need to be irrational and unpredictable; ie fun.
It’s within these difficult-for-machines to understand human conditions that the magic really occurs. When a machine is better at predicting your needs; it will be better at prescribing solutions to match those needs.
I think everyone with a rational mind understands that a machine is inherently better at some tasks. Look at the first machines able to to input store compute and output far more reliably than a human. Had lunch? Feeling drowsy, a machine doesn’t suffer from the human condition and as such offers a unique companion along the human experience.
The truth is AI, IOT, Blockchain are all still in their infancy, something I’ve learned painfully over the past decade as I push to find product-market winners based on combining these; the immature ‘next technology’ inevitably is slow to win mass-market adopters as it off-times fails to meet the changing needs of the dynamic user.
I think we can look with optimism to this maturity happening now; IOT is being implemented at scale, AI is viable in price/benefit, and Blockchain is coming out of Crytpo-only into a bigger, larger world; the potential of flavours that these combinations create are seemingly endless.
That said, good combinations are so-far hard to point to.
There is no AI store. There is no standards in how AI Agents communicate, and for the most part; most people have no idea what AI is, or what it is made of.
Until AI is understandable; somewhat evolved and built to improve my life, I’ll continue to ignore the consumer hype.
So far, I don’t need a coconut ice-cream maker; now with AI.
Adrian Kyle Blackwood is a Pioneer in Physical Internet: Award-Winning Product Designer, Researcher, Innovator | IOT | AI | Big Data | Blockchain |
Check out more: adriankyleblackwood.com