The Rise of the AI

Today Google finally released the long awaited AI powered messaging app Allo. This messaging app is powered by the amazing Google AI which is a competitor of Apple’s Siri, Where Allo is prmarily text based and Siri is voice based. This app will also be competing with various other AI powered messaging apps such as the indian app Hike, China’s WeChat, Facebook’s M.

So being that much of a geek and nerd to know all of the above like the back of my hand, I had to have this app ASAP so as soon as me and my friends heard the news and the app went live on the Play Store in India we all had it.

We right away started testing out all the bells and whistles of the app, and one thing we all agreed on was damn the AI is good, because within 30 minutes of conversation in Hinglish (Hindi written with English Alphabets) between us and the AI had started predicting some of the basic stuff. And Damn we were impressed by that, because since forever we have been convinced that Hindi/Hinglish is a tough language to understand for an AI or a machine because of our experience with the AutoCorrect. The number of errors made by AutoCorrect in the US is not even close to the number it makes in India, and because of this we always end up either disabling it or set it to such a light mode that its nonexistent.

So for an AI to start predicting words for to say in Hinglish such as “KYA?” correctly we were impressed. So we then started exploring more features, and we started playing with the google AI. We asked all the silly questions, all the good questions, all the funny questions and the AI never disappointed us.

But during all this experimentation I realized something, the AI was predicting everything from what to say next to searching stuff that we wanted to discuss and stuff like that. For example I wanted to discuss about the girl in the movie Step Up, but obviously I did not remember her name, so my friend simply asked “@google Step Up 2 cast” and bam! google returned with the search results of this query. With the name of the girl. And then I wanted them to cross reference this information with a very old music video of theSong Numb by Linkin Park. Because today by chance saw that video and I was just shocked to see the same girl from Step Up 2 as the lead in the video. So the purpose of doing all this excercise was supposed to give my friends the shock and awe i experienced when i saw that girl in that old video which we all grew up listening to.

But since we were discussing all this on Allo my dear friend simply asked google for it, and she just gave up the same girl’s name. So this event made me realize two things :

  1. Having the google search at your fingertips can be a boon to your conversation or it can simply ruin the effect you want to create while talking.
  2. And second the ability to search everything from the Chat window itself will exponentially increase our dependency on google for everything. It is already being debated in various forums that google is making the upcoming generations dumb, because they have all the information they need at their fingertips. Now Google has done this literally.

In the above incident we did not use our memory banks at all, if we had simply tried to remember the video of Numb, we may not have gotten the answer quickly but eventually we would have remembered that the same girl worked in Step Up 2. But the AI simply made this act and experience redundant and pointless.

So by this post i am not trying to say AI is a bad thing, but rather i am simply trying to point out a side effect of such technology. Right now this side effect may seem minor but if we look at it in the long term this can be begining of Skynet!

Today the AI just made our memory redundant, maybe in 20–30 years AI will be so sentient that it will feel that entire human race is redundant and pointless. But i hope by that time this happens we may also have developed technology to have emotions and most importantly a conscience. And then an even more ridiculous thing that i hope for is that we may be able to combine these two together. A sentient AI with emotions exactly like ours, kind of like the robot from iRobot.

Because this merger of two major technologies will be the only thing standing between SkyNet and a place where AI and Humans live in peace and harmony. I always hope for the second option.

What do you think would the consequences of rise of the AI? Share your opinions in comments below. And if you enjoyed reading please recommend.