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Changing times with AI!

Look at how times have changed.

Look around you.

Are we not surrounded by gadgets? Gadgets at home. Gadets at work. And there are gadgets that we wear all the time.

Our phone has become our most preferred companion. An extension of it on our wrists as well. We may get to wear a fancy smart hat soon with a 360 degree camera and proximity sensor that will stop us from colliding into other space time objects as we walk with our eyes fixated on the two dimensional world projected on the screen that fits in our hands.! :)

At home, we have talking televisions, smart speakers (which are not really speakers but tiny computers with voice in voice out interface)..

And what do these things do?

They program us!

A decade ago, we were the ones programming them. We gave them instructions as to what to do.

But now!

We are being given instructions as to what to do!

Think about it!

Amazon tells us what to buy! It is their recommendation engine that models us users based on information we provide them and tell us what things we should buy.

AI is becoming a de-facto standard in technology. Every piece of technology we know are becoming AI-enabled. Cars are learning to drive themselves, Smart TVs that can assist us using voice commands, robots learning to cook, drones learning to deliver and what not. They definitely are changing the world we live in..

But on the other hand, they are also changing us:

Today, AI tell us what to buy.. “If you buy X, you might be interested in Y”

They tell us what books to read..

They tell us what music to hear..

They tell us what movies to watch..

What series to binge on..

What workouts to do..

What food to eat..

And which wine goes with the food that we eat..! :)

And the most oblivious one: they tell us how to drive (SatNavs use AI planning algorithms to find the best route for you). They say turn left, and we take a left. Do we question them? No. So much trust we have in them!


Is there a paradigm shift in the offing?

Are we going to be programmed by AI more and more in the near future?

“Wake up, its 6'o clock.”

“Today, you will wear the blue shirt.”

“The bus is in 15 mins. Hurry up. Breakfast is on the table.”

“I have selected a music library for your commute”

“Here is what I have ordered for lunch”

“Lets hit the gym. Here is your work out based on your calorie intake.” :)

“Ok. Relax for a bit. I have picked up a nice movie for you to watch.”

“Look at all the money you have lying idle in your account.. Let me give you some investment advice” :))


And I am sure you may have more examples!.. These are happening now not some anticipated sci-fi in the future.

So the machines have already started to control our lives in one way or the other.

Reminds me of this scene in Matrix Revolutions where Neo chats with Councillor Harmann about who controls who? Watch it!

I am not discussing whether this is good or bad. I work in AI myself. And I am fascinated by all the things we can build using AI. And I am sure that with the right intentions, AI can be used to solve big human problems.

All I am trying to do here is to point out that the paradigm is shifting. From the days when we controlled machines to the days when we are controlled by machines!


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About the author: Srini Janarthanam is an expert in chatbotics! Started building chatbots in the year 2000. PhD in Artificial Intelligence and Natural Language Processing from University of Edinburgh. 5 years of post-doctoral experience. Over 50 scientific publications. Author of book-HandsOn Chatbots and Conversational Interfaces. A keen industry observer and blogger. Director of Chatomate, a chatbots design and development agency based in Edinburgh, Scotland. Ours is a managed bot service that includes the conversation design and customization, deployment, performance tuning, and analytics.

Give me a shout at! || Connect with me on LinkedIn!




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Srini Janarthanam

Srini Janarthanam

Chatbots, Conversational User Interfaces, Artificial Intelligence and Natural Language Processing Expert. Book author — Hands On Chatbots and Conversational UI.

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