I was threatened by Artificial Intelligence!

Roll back a few years, the movies taught us that the future will be filled with self-driving flying cars, hoverboards and robots. Well, the future seems to be coming to us quicker than we initially thought. And it has me interested…

This week, I’ve been catching up on the first season of the Channel 4 sci-fi drama, Humans (I know, I’m late to the party) and I must say it’s brilliant! The thing about it that got me thinking was how normal life in this world can be – with a household robot! Okay maybe discovering that your own Synth has a family wouldn’t be ‘normal’, but it’s not hard to work out how easy it would be to fit having your own domestic synthetic human into your home.

We’ll just all need to wait for the day that Persona Synthetics sort out their “technical difficulties” before we rush down to the shops…

 

It was, in fact, seeing this very advert on Channel 4 that inspired me to check it out on the web. This didn’t appear to be an advert promoting a TV show. It was an urgent recall campaign! And probably one of the most impressive campaigns I’ve seen in a while – spreading across eBay, New Scientist, Twitter, Facebook and further.

I decided that I’d speak with an adviser on their website to get involved. It took me to Facebook Messenger, where I was connected with a “synth customer care adviser” to help me with my query. Of course I was talking to a robot, designed with A.I technology.

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I quickly found myself getting invested in this bot and felt the need to continue our dialogue, despite it being insistent that my apparent synthetic human needs to be recalled.

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Okay, this bot is funny! Actual humour! Then things started to get weird. It decided to threaten to kill me.

And I’ve not spoken with Persona Synthetics, or that bot, ever since. I do have to keep an eye out to ensure my safety! (Yes, I do understand this bot may have been designed to follow this storyline!)

However this little story has got me thinking – the use of A.I. has been making a rapid appearance in our lives. The use of Siri on our iPhones can now learn to understand how we use our devices to make predictions and suggestions of what we might like or do with our apps. Siri can organise our calendars and personal lives based upon our emails and text messages. Even Google has challenged Apple’s iPhone with their own Google Assistant on their new *cough* iPhone copy *cough* COMPLETELY new Pixel phone.

It doesn’t stop at phones either. You can automate you own home by using your voice with new technologies such as Amazon’s new Echo. Imagine controlling your house with just your voice!

We’re not quite at the stage where we have fully automated robots who think, feel and carry out all our tasks autonomously; but it’s pretty clear how much technology and artificial intelligence we already have introduced into our lives.

Someone buy me a Synth that won’t kill me!

Rhysaphine

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