Imagine: instead of the iconic thundercloud we know from cartoons, there is a flying AI assistant hovering above your head. With the advent of ChatGPT and similar AI programmes, you must have almost thought at some point how nice it would be to have an AI assistant constantly by your side. We dive into a fantasy world where smart AI assistants are the order of the day.
Why you need to know this:
Developments in the field of AI are currently racing ahead. It is not inconceivable that, sometime in the next few decades, we will all have a personal AI assistant by our side. This story outlines a scenario of what that could look like.
Slowly, the world is getting used to “Hey Google, turn on the lights.” While we currently address Google with our voice, or ask ChatGPT for help via a chat screen, the boundaries of interaction will eventually extend to the intimate realm of our thoughts. In the near future, advanced AI systems will decipher our thoughts with unparalleled speed, and then act on them. And so an infinite range of possibilities will unfold.
So, what if… we all owned an AI assistant? OK, then let’s immediately propose a fun scenario. A soundless mini-drone, hovering above our heads.
My digital sidekick
I would like to introduce you to my assistant Kimmy. My digital sidekick is attuned to my personality. She has a good dose of dry humour, because I love that. “Yep, my dry humour makes even the Sahara jealous,” she adds. That’s what I mean…
However, Kimmy can do much more than joking around; she is quite sophisticated. She anticipates my needs even before I am aware of what I really need. Kimmy does this based on an interface that can measure my brainwaves. All it takes is for it to pop through my head that I am in the mood for a tasty snack when I am lying on the sofa tonight, and voila. Kimmy arranges it as if she were a magician conjuring snacks out of her hat.
Transformation of everyday life
I have a life before Kimmy and a life after Kimmy. Shopping in a crowded supermarket I always found overwhelming, until now. The moment I stare dazedly ahead in the aisles, Kimmy comes to the rescue. With a quick glance, she analyses my previous purchases, preferences and current needs. Before I know it, I am outside with four well-filled shopping bags. Easy.
Kimmy is also definitely a crutch for my memory. The moment I have to rush out the door for an interview, I rush to put on my coat and move my hand to the door handle. Kimmy reminds me not to forget my keys. Subtly, otherwise I get irritated, she knows from experience.
In addition, since Kimmy’s arrival, I feel less under pressure. She is extremely good at detecting excessive stress levels. She constantly analyses my brainwaves to detect emotions. Does she notice increased stress levels? Then she automatically switches to music from one of my favourite bands. “Just calm down,” she then says.
By the way, my sleep has also improved considerably. Kimmy closely monitors my sleeping conditions. Moreover, she remembers my dreams. Occasionally, she can’t resist sharing the most bizarre fragments of the night’s adventures with me in the morning. “So, you want to become a professional penguin whisperer…,” she then jokes. Fortunately, I have instructed my virtual buddy not to divulge nocturnal secrets to the outside world.
Not entirely surprisingly, in our dream scenario, there is social debate around the use of AI in our daily lives. Assistants that measure, analyse and also store our brainwaves, privacy and security are, of course, a thing of the past. These topics are therefore high on the political agenda.
Just the other day, Kimmy drew my attention to a news report about an elderly woman who was allegedly robbed by a group of criminals. The criminals were able to hack the AI assistant, and had access to the woman’s brain activity. Eventually, they were able to use that information to crack the code of her safe. The woman was then violently robbed. The incident shook the world. Fortunately, since the robbery, major steps have already been taken to make AI systems more secure. Still, hundreds of thousands of people have refused to use the daily assistant since this incident.
I understand the concerns of my fellow humans. Still, I wouldn’t miss Kimmy for anything. Although sometimes I would like to slap her when she wakes me up grinning for the umpteenth time to tease me with my strange dreams. Of course, that tap will never happen. Kimmy has already left the room long before the idea occurs to me.