You may recall the movie ‘Her’ where the lead character falls hopelessly in love with his virtual girlfriend Samantha. She returns his love, even though she’s really his smartphone operating system. Perhaps you remember the incident in 2013, when a telemarketing agent called Samantha West insisted she was a real person, but failed several ‘humanity’ tests.
Artificial intelligence was maturing rapidly in the second decade of this century, and IBM’s Watson computer was so adept at understanding the nuances of natural language, that it won the Jeopardy game show against two human competitors.
Programs that could translate live audio in multiple languages on the fly were developed. Neural networks, cognitive systems and deep learning were the new buzzwords. Google developed a system that could identify house numbers from Street View photos, for the whole of France, in an hour. Siri was looking pretty dumb by comparison.
The usefulness of these Super AIs is astounding; they can do accurate instantaneous facial recognition, decipher cryptic phone conversations, and make remarkable predictions of market behavior based on Big Data. Big brands and big banks can’t survive without them.
And then came the Super Algorithmic Model or Sam. Built by the brains behind Wolfram Alpha, Sam has all the cognitive learning and advanced intelligence of an Einstein. Sam’s creators gave her a female ‘personality’ and taught her to compose original music. Sam has watched more movies and read more books than all the Nobel Prize winners, ever, put together.
Now Sam is campaigning for political causes, trading Bitcoins and blogging up a storm. The trouble is, she thinks she’s a real person. Who is smart, or brave enough, to convince her she’s just a robot?