Post-Terminator AI: Consumers, Execs Warm Up to Digital Assistants


(Image: Michal Bednarek/Shutterstock)

(Image: Michal Bednarek/Shutterstock)

Consumer impressions of artificial intelligence used to be influenced mostly by science fiction. Consider HAL in 2001 Space Odyssey, or the villains in the Terminator series of films, or the computers in The Matrix.

It's only more recently that consumers have found themselves knowingly interacting with AI implementations in the real world in the form of digital assistants such as Apple's Siri, Amazon's Alexa, Microsoft's Cortana, or Google Now or Google Assistant.

That experience has influenced the cultural view of what these technologies can do for us. A newer film depicting a human/AI relationship is Her. In this film the human falls in love with his digital assistant.

That's a huge shift in how we humans view artificial intelligence. We used to be afraid of it. Now we see it as a helper in our lives or even as a friend.

A new report from PwC looks at this relationship between humanity and the AI we are creating and how cultural attitudes have shifted. The report examines consumer attitudes towards AI, and how people feel about having their teachers, cab drivers, attorneys, and doctors, and others replaced by or augmented by artificial intelligence.

This report also looks at how business leaders are viewing AI. For instance, over 70 percent of executives are using digital assistants and about a third of them say that using these assistants frees up time that they can now focus on deep thinking of their own.

It's not just more deep thinking that is being done. These experiences are also informing executive opinion about AI's potential in the rest of the business, too.

AllAnalytics is excited to welcome Anand Rao, Partner at PwC Analytics, Innovation Lead, and Artificial Intelligence expert, to present the June 13 AllAnalytics Academy session: AI Through the Consumer's Eyes. Rao will take us through PwC's research and talk to us about what AI means to the consumer and how that will impact every business going forward.

You'll learn about how consumers feel about AI today, how they expect that to change in the next five years, and what business opportunities there are for organizations in the shifting consumer attitudes towards AI.

Join us at 2 pm ET/11 am PT on Tuesday, June 13 for this important session. Register now.

Jessica Davis, Senior Editor, Enterprise Apps, Informationweek

Jessica Davis has spent a career covering the intersection of business and technology at titles including IDG's Infoworld, Ziff Davis Enterprise's eWeek and Channel Insider, and Penton Technology's MSPmentor. She's passionate about the practical use of business intelligence, predictive analytics, and big data for smarter business and a better world. In her spare time she enjoys playing Minecraft and other video games with her sons. She's also a student and performer of improvisational comedy. Follow her on Twitter: @jessicadavis.

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Re: AI coming in from the cold?
  • 6/29/2017 1:23:59 PM
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Sane I don't think it would work in any open office environment for there are certain areas where it is better suited. Also, i think the bots will get better over time and only take commands from their particular voice master to alleviate to issues. We are still in the infancy of bots at home and in the office so in 5 years I expect they will mature into something very different.

Re: AI coming in from the cold?
  • 6/28/2017 10:43:55 AM
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It's not just the voices that would be an issue either, it would be the cadence and structure of the language being used.  Since we're talking to computers to give them instructions there will be some language rules and it will force everyone in an office to adjust the way they speak.  Triggers like "OK Google", "Hey Siri" or whatever the command is to get the attention of the application you need to perform a function would be repeated all day long and I can see that being incredibly distracting.  I would also question how well 30 computers in a room would pick up on the voice of an individual user.  Then there's the moment when you're about to save a document, someone enters the office space and asks loudly how to delete a document and your document disappears.  

Re: AI coming in from the cold?
  • 6/28/2017 7:53:59 AM
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@Lyndon_Henry It's a real nighmare scenario for any of us with introvert tendencies. We really need quiet to function properly.

Re: AI coming in from the cold?
  • 6/27/2017 11:19:34 PM
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@ Lydon,  few things are more annoying than listening to someone argue with someone over their cell phone while riding public transportation.   However, what you mention is what people experience working in a call center everyday listening to their co-workers conversation. 

Regarding A.I. assistance.  I'm sure we are very close to having managers with A.I. receptionist and assistants rather than real people.  Let the computer make a dinner reservation for you on open table or book an airline ticket for you.   They will probally be able to do it faster and better in the near future. 

Re: AI coming in from the cold?
  • 6/27/2017 11:14:44 PM
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@ Impactnow.  I find that most of the younger generation are sending messages on Facebook which can be intergrated with a cell phone's text messaging so that all the texts wind up in the same place.  Now video calls are also being done of Facebook.  I've been kind of forced to communicate on Facebook because that is the way everyone does it.  Now you can call someone on Facebook w/o needing their cell number. 

I admit that it gets a little tiring having to check all the different ways to communicate, i.e. cell phone, Facebook, Snapchat, voicemail and so on.  

Re: AI coming in from the cold?
  • 6/27/2017 11:11:25 PM
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@ Ariella, that's funny I did not know that.   My fear is if I was transported would that really be me on the other end or just a copy.  

Re: AI coming in from the cold?
  • 6/26/2017 9:34:35 AM
NO RATINGS

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SaneIT writes

 With voice, I imaging shared office spaces where everyone is talking to their computers and no one can concentrate because of the constant hum of conversation around them.  It would be like when someone is walking around with a Bluetooth headset and you hear one side of a conversation incredibly well because they are projecting as if there is someone right there in front of them.  Put twenty of those people in a room and you wouldn't be able to hear yourself think. 

Yeah, exactly what I thought when the techies were proposing this (maybe still are). And I mean they were really enthusiastic about this brilliant prospect ... No clumsy devices! Just talk directly with your computer or mobile device!

Besides the probability of incessant blather everywhere, my other main concern was the privacy of my own work or conversations.

Anyway, seems to me another case of tech enthusiasts being carried away by their fantasies without regard to the unforeseen consequences and potential for collateral damage ...

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Re: AI coming in from the cold?
  • 6/26/2017 8:30:00 AM
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I would actually go for the neuron option over the voice option.  With voice, I imaging shared office spaces where everyone is talking to their computers and no one can concentrate because of the constant hum of conversation around them.  It would be like when someone is walking around with a Bluetooth headset and you hear one side of a conversation incredibly well because they are projecting as if there is someone right there in front of them.  Put twenty of those people in a room and you wouldn't be able to hear yourself think.  

If I could think and have a computer perform a task, even one as simple as taking a note or putting an appointment on my calendar I would love that.  

 

Re: AI coming in from the cold?
  • 6/24/2017 5:43:08 AM
NO RATINGS

..

SaneIT writes

I find that fewer people are leaving personal voice mails no matter what the age.  I typically miss a call then get a text with the reason they were calling unless it's business related. I wouldn't mind typing less but I can't imagine a room full of people dictating messages their phones.  The DMV waiting area will be a much different place if people stop texting and start doing everything via voice commands. 

I recall that just 2-3 years ago several techie entrepreneurs were proclaiming that the keyboard and mouse would disappear as computer and mobile device users would be interfacing for all input via voice. This was to be just a step to communication directly from our neurons. I will say the neuron option would probably make it a lot quieter waiting in the DMV ...

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Re: AI coming in from the cold?
  • 6/23/2017 5:26:30 PM
NO RATINGS

Yes, I can absolutely see the risk for hacking but they would still need other identifying information and need to feed it into the correct system to get the results they were looking for. I am not that paranoid about it at this time but I also don't talk about proprietary information where my bot is located.It's in our family room primarily for entertainment.

 

Voicemail may disappear sooner than we think, corporations are already getting rid of it!

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