AI to talk to

Couple a of days ago I was rewatching the movie “Wall-E”. I like it a lot, mostly for its thought-provoking quality.

The most curious thing was the robot Wall-E was more relatable than humans, he (it) has a personality, character, stamina and he is full of quirks. He reacts emotionally to events and has the ability to attach himself to other animated things. He is curious and explores without obvious benefit.

Some of his characteristics are just wishful thinking, we value certain traits and would like to see them in other beings. The most curious for me was the combination of these with his quirks, starting from the way he looks to his silliness. That reminds me of wabi-sabi — Japanese aesthetics based on imperfection.

When developing AI the general consensus is that it should be better than us and it is better than us in many domains. Still, so-called common sense is so far elusive to AI developers. The motivation of making AI better than us is motivated by two reasons: the economic impact and the general presumption that we must improve the thing we do. If the man is the reference (the competitor) we need to make AI better than human.

The question is, would you like to talk to and have around something (or somebody) who knows almost everything and can do almost anything? I can’t deny the benefits of that, but where is the fun in that. Here is my point: we need personality, peculiarity, even eccentricity in order to relate to our artificial helper and enrich our communications.

Some initial attempts are made in computer games AI characters, but this needs to continue, much much further. The initial characteristics could be based on the master environment, but please, strongly restrict the ability of the master to customize the helper personality. With time the helper will adapt to the master's needs and even copy some personality traits. Later the helper will find what are the master’s real needs, those which the master is barely aware of. Knowing something intimate and using it usually pose a moral dilemma, so the balance here is paramount.

Looking for specific human imperfections and integrate them into AI for me is a largely underappreciated area of AI development. If you would like to talk about it write something in the comment section or send me a message.

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Theo Lacroix

Theo Lacroix

The way to stay curious and fascinated after your exploration leaves with more questions than answers is to enjoy the process. Be the journey!