We’ve all used a chatbot or virtual assistant with a human name, but have you ever stopped to wonder why? Here at Gloo, we’ve been discussing whether AI needs to act human at all. We were also intrigued by Elon Musk’s designs for a supposedly amphibious vehicle, and Spielberg’s new horror series which uses technology to deliver late-night thrills.

Does AI really need to be more human?

It seems like every day there’s a new article either praising AI or fretting about its implications. And a lot of this discussion presumes that the more human-like the technology is, the more effective (or terrifying) it will be. But this article takes a fresh perspective; perhaps AI doesn’t need to be more human at all.

The author, Evan Kohn, compares our humanisation of AI to our desire to put hats on pets and draw smiley faces on shower mirrors. And he argues that this humanisation of AI creates false expectationsyou can get frustrated with chatbots for not being ‘human’ enough, even if they’re serving their basic purpose. More importantly, as humans we have plenty of flawsso why try to replicate them in our technology? AI is capable of immediate customer service responses, fast calculations, and many other things that a human agent can’t manage. Maybe it doesn’t need a cutesy name to do its job.

Want to take a ride in Bond’s submarine-car?

Elon Musk, eccentric billionaire and funder of Tesla, seems keen to become a real-life James Bond (or super-villain, depending how you look at it). At an annual shareholders’ meeting last week, he announced that his company has designs for an amphibious vehicle inspired by the car from the 1977 Bond film ‘The Spy Who Loved Me’, although there are no firm plans to manufacture it yet.

We’re not entirely sure who this product is aimed at, apart from millionaire die-hard fans of the Bond films. If it actually worked properlyand that’s a big ifyou wouldn’t be able to leap straight from roads to ocean while chasing bad guys. The need to invest in a boat ramp (and presumably some kind of submarine license) could take a lot of the superhero magic away. Not to mention the unfathomable maintenance costs. But it’s fun to dream, isn’t it Elon?

New horror show can only be seen after midnight

We’re torn about horror films at Gloo. Some of us can’t get enough, while some of us haven’t slept since the new Child’s Play trailer was cruelly forced on us. If you’re in the former category, we’ve got great newsSteven Spielberg is planning to serve up a new style of horror that really gets your adrenaline pumping.

The show is being developed under the working title ‘Spielberg’s After Dark’, and uses technology to deliver thrills with a unique twist. The programme will only be viewable on your smartphone after midnight. And it disappears again when your phone detects that the sun has come up. We think it’s a cool way to create a spooky atmospherealthough it’s impact on our morning productivity remains to be seen!

Posted by John on 19 June 2019