There’s two strongly recurring themes in the myriad of conversations I’m having with people about artificial intelligence. The first is pervasive interest. I’ve worked in technology for almost 20 years, and nothing until now has generated both the level of interest – and debate.
The second is that everyone wants to know where this is all going. I don’t have a crystal ball (as some of my equity investment decisions will illustrate!), but I’m going to go out on a limb here and make 2 predictions. One will make your life easy, the other will change the face of whatever major city you live in (this, in a second instalment in a few weeks.)
I’ll start with “making our lives easier”. Between 5-8 years from late 2017, you should have a personal virtual assistant. This (software, not a house mechanoid) bot will have a huge amount of influence and if you let it; control over your life. It will run your calendar, do your shopping, pay your bills and run the relationships with your friends and family (well, with their bots).
Let’s talk about a very specific issue to bring this to life, however. If I think of a pain point in my life that is practical and solvable, one that shouts out is the holiday issue. I enjoy travelling and especially exploring new places. So when this arises the list of questions tends to be:
1. Where shall I go? Country, region, event, or to see friends and family?
2. When I go, how do I get there? Airline, route, fare?
3. When I get there, where should I stay? Resort, boutique hotel, simple chain city-based hotel or luxury exclusive hideaway?
4. When I’m there, what do I do? What’s the best tourist style exploring that aligns with my interests? Most appropriate shopping? Adventure vs. culture?
5. What about dining? I’m a little adventurous and I like trying different cuisine and foods, but I draw the line at offal for example. And diarrhoea. So where are the best places?
I’m not a tour guy, but I enjoy exploring. And since I’m time poor, I hate wasting time on fruitless pursuits. A recent frustrating experience was trialling an app called Showaround in Rio de Janeiro. The well-meaning but frankly useless guide was clueless. She took us to closed attractions, the central bus depot (come on really, everyone knows you never go to the freakin’ bus depot), the party area, which was promising, but then explained it was too early to party. Tour over.
So imagine that you say to your PVA bot (I think I’ll call mine Brucey), “Brucey. I’d like 3 options for quarter 3 for perhaps Russia and Turkey.” Now, based upon reviews, feedback and past behaviour, Brucey knows that I:
- Love some adventure activities sprinkled with a few days of relaxing.
- Like quiet and modern hotels rather than quaint and quirky guesthouses.
- Don’t mind flying a little further but prefer to keep the transfers to a minimum.
- Am a foodie
Given perhaps as little as 2 minutes, Brucey polls all available options and serves up 3 great choices. Along the way, he’s considered pricing, my calendar, all available data and public feedback, and events that I may want to avoid or jump into. I know this is a total first-world problem, but this future is one that I’m personally hugely excited about.
Ambit is a technology company with an enterprise-grade, turnkey bot solution. We enable our clients to get into the bot-o-sphere quickly and painlessly. Our roadmap includes Brucey and your version of him. To get there, get in touch to find out how we can help your business get the bot you desire.