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If Artificial Intelligence Is Not A Reflection Of You Then You Might Be A Vampire

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is here. At least that’s what our news feeds and blogs tell us. And we all find it incredible that we can now create technology that learns how we interact with one another and then in turn, can talk back to us in our very likeness. It’s also incredible that every time we set one of these bots live on social media it turns into a bigoted, racist maniac and we end up pulling its plug lest we offend anyone.

So maybe it’s not quite there. But it’s getting there. If you look around, you hear people laughing with each other that one day all our jobs will be taken by machines and technology. Well that’s kind of happening! If we laugh it off now, eventually we could fall into THAT very mind set and maybe we will give up some of our jobs to machines that we build … for ourselves … to make life easier … and then lose our jobs … only to ring someone up to complain about it and it’s a chat bot picking up the phone ... it sounds crazy, doesn’t it?

Is replacing ourselves with our exact likeness what we want? In this industry and in everyday life, the best work and interactions comes from people solving problems for other people. Whether its showing someone the benefits of goji berry in your morning cereal or listening to a customer’s problem, we need to feel like the person on the other end knows us and empathises with us and that that person on the other end is keeping their racist bigoted thoughts to themselves.

Instead of replacing us, technology needs to replicate us.

IBM’s Watson was created to answer questions on the TV gameshow Jeopardy! and when set live on the show it beat the humans it was up against to take home the million-dollar prize. Not exactly what we want to see. But now IBM are using Watsons question answering abilities to help nurses in a lung cancer treatment ward in the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, to get diagnoses quicker. Its freeing up time for doctors and getting quicker answers to nurses. It’s a colleague that uses our information but better.

AI needs to work alongside us to do what we can’t. Just like autonomous cars, we need to know there’s someone sitting in the driver seat just in case we need to grab the wheel and steer the humans in the right direction. The tech needs to enhance our productivity so that we have more time to humanise our interactions. Instead of giving bots and AI a soul, give the being with a soul more support with bots and AI.

If we keep going on the same accelerated automaton and automaton development trajectory, we are 20 years away from the first proper intelligent robot and hopefully this blog post is long since deleted as to not anger my new digital overload.

So, the question we need to ask ourselves is, can you look in the mirror and honestly say I want to replicate this? If yes then congratulations you have passed the assimilation test and if your answer is no, it’s probably because you’re a vampire and you can’t see your own reflection.