Does your mopping robot or your food processor have names? Do you ascribe a character to them? Unless you’re a robot yourself, you probably do.
The entire history of engineering has been about making the most human-like machines possible. We humans are hardwired to process social interactions, so we subconsciously expect machines to be at least somewhat human. We can adapt to dashboards, handles and buttons, but what we really want is an obedient servant. Japanese startup Connectome have come up with the “world’s first” Virtual Human Agent (VHA) on the blockchain.
Any user interface, however great, is a compromise. They may be acceptable for a while, but many would agree that the best user interface is for the user to just say or point and expect the task to be done the right way.
The biggest players foresaw this long ago. Today, Apple has Siri, Microsoft has Cortana, Amazon has Alexa, and Google has its unnamed, anonymous “assistant”.
Disembodied voices until very recently, these AI-based agents now receive virtual or even physical incarnations. In October, a Google-owned unicorn startup, Magic Leap One, presented a human-like avatar called Mica, which is able to answer detailed questions, such as recalling a person’s favorite song from a concert attended a year ago, according to CNN. Mica looks and acts like a human — she makes eye contact and offers a warm smile, along with other human-like expressions. Earlier, Sony created Sophia.
No more buttons. No more dashboards. Just your wishes granted, as long as your bank account is in a good shape. Even one generation ago, this would be considered magic. Now, it is on the roadmap of everybody in the industry. There is no way to exaggerate how huge human-like AI-based agents are.