Teresa Escrig

News and oppinion about Cognitive AI & Robotics

How would your life be enhanced by wearing a virtual personal assistant?


Poster of the movie "Her"

Poster of the movie “Her”

I love comparing the intelligence of a device that appears in a movie with the reality of AI.  It can give us a visual glimpse of a very real possibility.

What do you think? Would you like to have a (wearable) virtual personal assistant helping you to make informed decisions? I certainly would. The human race could take a huge leap in evolution with such extended intelligence capabilities.

The movie ‘Her’ is a beautiful example of just that: Below is an excellent article with a very deep analysis of current and near future AI results.  It’s a great read, I’d love to hear your thoughts. Please, leave comments.

Can we Build “Her”?: What Samantha tells Us About the Future of AI

By Vlad Sejnoha, Nuance

What will the next generation of intelligent computing look like?

The movie Her has captured the public imagination with its vision of a lightning-fast evolutionary trajectory of virtual assistants, and the emotional bonds we could form with them. Is this a likely future?

The film’s narrative arc shows the evolution of the Samantha operating system and her relationship with her user, Theodore, transforming from a competent assistant, to a literary agent that proactively arranges the publication of Theodore’s letters, to an ideal girlfriend, and ultimately to an entity that loses interest in humans because they have become unsatisfying companions. Throughout, Samantha is an impressive conversationalist with a perfect command of language, a grasp of the broader context, a grounding in common sense, and a mastery of the emotional realm.

Continue reading…

2 Responses to 'How would your life be enhanced by wearing a virtual personal assistant?'

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  1. I am currently involved in the field of developmental robotics, which main task is the creation of “intelligent robots”. I am focused on providing a robot unsupervised mechanisms to create and pursue its own goals, mainly using motivations. Namely, to make a robot to learn about its environment as an infant makes it.

    In my opinion, this movie touches all the opened discussions I guess the AI field must deal with within the next years.

    – Shall a robot have emotions? What for?

    – Shall they love, for example?

    – Will the personal robots make people to lose contact with other human beings?

    – Will it arrive a moment where the intelligent machines are smarter than human beings? If yes, shall we define some boundaries to their intelligence beforehand?

    I am willing to know the answers we choose for them.


    Carlos Maestre

    22 Apr 14 at 10:51 am

  2. Movies about robots also provide useful information to those wishing to implement machines that are perceived as conscious.

    I believe the core, repeated theme is maintenance of a social status – and superiority of the human over the subordinate synthetics.

    The machines always have some detectable flaws or limits every spectator can detect. They are always subordinate or threatening, never dominant-benevolent (indicator of superior social status).

    It is also interesting to not how a few specific behavior patterns (eye-eyebrow-mouth-neck) effectively transmit emotions to our limbic brain.

    All useful stuff for the AI designer.

    Jean Tardy

    2 May 15 at 4:20 pm

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