Building Relationships with Machines in the Age of AI

Remember the much-loved robot, Vicky, from the popular sitcom ‘Small Wonder’. A robot modeled after a 10-year-old girl created by a robotics engineer, introduced to the world as his adapted daughter. The robot, a Voice Input Child Identicant, V-I-C-I, nicknamed Vicky had real hair and skin and possessed superhuman strength and speed. The plot of the sitcom revolved around the idea of a robot girl becoming an integral part of a family of four, sharing a fond relationship with every family member, while helping with household chores. Television viewers marveled at the small wonder, considered a work of fiction, never imagining it would turn into a reality a couple decade later.


Today, AI powered devices, robots and chatbots are helping us in all walks of life, lot more than we imagined, inadvertently building long lasting reliable relationships.


AI is now part of our everyday lives

Siri, Cortana or any other voice-based AI powered assistants have now become an integral part of our lives. The days of typing out text to carry out a search is slowly vanquishing as our dependence on Siri, Cortana or any other voice based assistant increases. We are more comfortable asking Siri for help to search the web, set up schedules and reminders, send or reply to mails. Invisible AI powered virtual assistants have unconsciously become part of our lifestyle.


AI powered chatbots as teachers

A collaboration between Georgia Tech and IBM saw the emergence of Jill Watson, a AI powered chatbot created and conceptualized to work as a Teacher’s Assistant or TA. Jill’s capabilities include answering hundreds of questions in record time without any errors, besides being incredibly patient. Textbook creator Pearson also has bought into the idea of having virtual tutors for students reading through digital textbook resources. The tie-up between Pearson and IBM has tried to give virtual tutors additional capabilities that make it interactive, testing students by posing questions related to the content.


AI for healthcare

AI supported systems can become our trust worthy companions who are constantly observing us to note and report any fluctuations in our health condition, much like a seasoned doctor or a nurse would. ShareCare an AI powered platform is designed to do exactly that. It carefully listens to your conversation while you interact with your doctor via video or chat, with the intention to understand your physical and emotional well-being. The AI powered system closely monitors your eyes to gauge if your nervous, is your eye movement expressing stress. The observations made by AI are then compared to the eye movements of millions of people who have suffered a heart attack. The information collected doing the comparative analysis warns users of a potential heart attack or any other severe condition before it happens.


AI for customer service

We have all had that annoying conversation with a customer service agent who has no clue of our concerns and has just one standard line to irk us even more, ‘We have made note of your concern and will resolve it at the earliest.’ Bring in chatbots and the situation changes, pre-programmed, enabled with Natural Language Processing capabilities, chatbots can enhance user experience by addressing the concerns of users in a systematic and patient manner. AI enabled chatbots are helping develop a more insightful and comprehensive understanding of customers which in turn is helping businesses provide more personalized and improved solutions. Chatbots are resolving challenges customers face interacting with human agents without the exact know about the product or service.


With AI devices, robots and chatbots now getting configured to become socially acceptable and more viable there is all possibility, that the relationship between AI powered devices, robots, chatbots and humans is here to stay and flourish!