Microsoft predicts everyone will soon have an AI "second self" to boost intelligence
Microsoft researchers work to create a digital "alter ego" that will know everything about you and make you much smarter.
A new book by two industry titans predicts that in the near future everyone will have a digital “alter ego”.
The book “The Future Computed” comes from Microsoft’s President Brad Smith and the EVP of AI and Research Harry Shum. In this freely-available (and worth checking out) look into what's just around the bend, the two argue that companies have to embrace AI if they want to be successful going forward. But progress can move faster if researchers do not sit on the knowledge they are developing but share it with competitors, ensuring that AI will reach its full potential.
One big AI advancement that the two tech gurus predict will be created within the next 20 years is the advent of digital assistants. We are not talking the current versions of Apple’s Siri, Microsoft’s Cortana or Amazon’s Alexa, but assistants that control all aspects of your life, knowing everything about you (with your permission). Internally, Microsoft uses the words “alter ego” or “a second self” to describe the kind of amazingly sophisticated digital help you’ll be getting.
Microsoft president Brad Smith and EVP of AI and Research Harry Shum. Credit: Microsoft Corp.
Another interesting point the tech giants make involves the importance of humanities. The authors propose that once AI is close to being given decision-making responsibilities, researchers with backgrounds in humanities will be needed to guide the AI to become more human-like in its thinking. Tech companies can help create the tools, but how the society uses them should be part of a much broader conversation. Smith and Shum also highlight the significance of starting to discuss and coming to a consensus on the ethics of AI.
"We make the point that tech companies will know more than anybody else about how the technology works, but that doesn't mean that tech companies will know best how AI should be used in ways that are societally responsible and beneficial," Smith said in an interview with Business Insider.
What are some of the abilities that your future digital “alter ego” might have? While Microsoft hasn’t necessarily shared many details of such plans, other industry insiders have some ideas. For one, our communication with such an assistant will likely be conversational, but instead of talking to one out loud, the interaction might take place entirely in your head.
Elon Musk is betting on that kind of future as well, founding Neuralink to create a brain-computer interface.
Another advance to look forward to - the AI second self will likely make you much smarter. It will be able to not only keep track of where you need to go, who you need to see, what pill you need to take, or order things for you based just on what you are thinking, but it will be an inexhaustible supply of immediately available information, calculations and well-informed decisions for you to make.
An AI layer will be “amplifying human ingenuity in untold ways”, write Smith and Shum.
If we don’t get enslaved or somehow destroyed by AI, as Elon Musk and other experts also often caution, a future with a digital second self is certainly worth looking forward to.
The new version's battery has a shorter range and a price $4,000 lower than the previous starting price.
- Tesla's new version of the Model 3 costs $45,000 and can travel 260 miles on one charge.
- The Model 3 is the best-selling luxury car in the U.S.
- Tesla still has yet to introduce a fully self-driving car, even though it once offered the capability as an option to be installed at a future date.
"It's about having employees that are empowered."
Denmark may be the birthplace of the Lego tower, but its workplace hierarchy is the flattest in the world.
According to the World Economic Forum's Global Competitiveness Report 2018, the nation tops an index measuring "willingness to delegate authority" at work, beating 139 other countries.
We all know sleeping with your ex is a bad idea, or is it?
- In the first study of its kind, researchers have found sex with an ex didn't prevent people from getting over their relationship.
- Instead of feeling worse about their breakup after a hookup, the new singles who attempted sexual contact with their ex reported feeling better afterwards.
- The findings suggest that not every piece of relationship advice is to be taken at face value.
Want a happy, satisfying relationship? Psychologists say the best way is to learn to take a joke.
- New research looks at how partners' attitudes toward humor affects the overall quality of a relationship.
- Out of the three basic types of people, people who love to be laughed at made for better partners.
- Fine-tuning your sense of humor might be the secret to a healthy, happy, and committed relationship.
It's hard to imagine such a number. But these images will help you try.
The Mega Millions lottery just passed $1 billion for tonight's drawing.
What does that even look like, when represented by various currencies?
It takes just 6 numbers to win. You can only, however, purchase tickets up until 10:45 ET tonight.
Tiny and efficient, these biodegradable single cells show promise as a way to target hard-to-reach cancers.
- Scientists in Germany have found a potential improvement on the idea of bacteria delivering medicine.
- This kind of microtargeting could be useful in cancer treatments.
- The microswimmers are biodegradable and easy to produce.
Metin Sitti and colleagues at the Max Planck Institute in Germany recently demonstrated that tiny drugs could be attached to individual algae cells and that those algae cells could then be directed through body-like fluid by a magnetic field.
The results were recently published in Advanced Materials, and the paper as a whole offers up a striking portrait of precision and usefulness, perhaps loosely comparable in overall quality to recent work done by The Yale Quantum Institute. It begins by noting that medicine has been attached to bacteria cells before, but bacteria can multiply and end up causing more harm than good.
A potential solution to the problem seems to have been found in an algal cell: the intended object of delivery is given a different electrical charge than the algal cell, which helps attach the object to the cell. The movement of the algae was then tested in 2D and 3D. (The study calls this cell a 'microswimmer.') It would later be found that "3D mean swimming speed of the algal microswimmers increased more than twofold compared to their 2D mean swimming speed." The study continues —
More interestingly, 3D mean swimming speed of the algal microswimmers in the presence of a uniform magnetic field in the x-direction was approximately threefolds higher than their 2D mean swimming speed.
After the 2D and 3D speed of the algal was examined, it was then tested in something made to approximate human fluid, including what they call 'human tubal fluid' (think of the fallopian tubes), plasma, and blood. They then moved to test the compatibility of the microswimmer with cervical cancer cells, ovarian cancer cells, and healthy cells. They found that the microswimmer didn't follow the path of bacteria cells and create something toxic.
The next logical steps from the study include testing this inside a living organism in order to assess the safety of the procedure. Potential future research could include examining how effective this method of drug delivery could be in targeting "diseases in deep body locations," as in, the reproductive and gastrointestinal tracts.
Our modern-day Kafka on his new novel Lake Success and the dark comedy that in 2018 pretty much writes itself
- riding the Greyhounds of hell, from New York to El Paso
- the alternate reality of hedge fund traders
Here's why the school you went to is less relevant than ever.
- Learning agility is the ability to learn new things quickly and be aware of the trends that are emerging in your industry. It's the most important job skill hiring managers should be looking for and job seekers should be putting forward, says Kelly Palmer.
- Want to test your learning agility? Answer this practice interview question: "What did you learn last week?"
- Hiring people based on the school they went to is less relevant than ever. Why? Palmer explains: "If I asked you, "Tell me about your health," and you told me you ran a marathon 10 years ago, does that really tell me what your health is like? Not really." It's what you can offer now and how agile you are that matters.
- Kelly Palmer is the author of The Expertise Economy.
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.