“Hi, my name´s Ava. How can I help you?” – “I´m Eve and I´m looking for toothpaste.”
No worries, I haven´t gone crazy, this is going to be a serious essay. So far, Ava and Eve have never met and I don´t hink they ever will. They are the outcome of most advanced exponential technology – they are AIs.
Ava “works” as a virtual customer service agent, she (?) is an empathic, always smiling and patient, never rude avatar. She has learned all these positive characteristics of the perfect customer service agent step by step experiencing all requirements a service agent has to meet.
In future, Ava will answer the phone of many companies like the US software company Autodesk, i. e. this digital human will replace their current customer service chatbot and so personalize Autodesk´s external appearance.
Eve has made an even more impressing career. She´s an AI scientist. In a researchers´ team she helped discover that triclosan could be used as an antimalarial drug. Triclosan is an ingredient of some toothpastes – see above.
Great success, but there´s more to come. Researchers want their scientist robots make observations, then originate hypotheses, next devise experiments to test them by using laboratory robotics to physically run the experiments.
Despite this humanization of their capabilties, it´s quite significant, in nearly all reports and articles I have read Ava and Eve are still referred to as “machines“. Their help and support in production, trade, science and medicine is invaluable – but is having a will of one´s own, developing a sense of ethics, taking ad hoc decisions in emergency siuations, pursuing an own plan against all odds is still a human work.
Jonathan Escobar Marin
Jonathan Escobar Marin is CEO and Partner of Actio Global Consulting, co-founder and Partner of the firm High-Performance Organization Global Alliance, co-founder and CEO of Inn—Be, a start-up dedicated to High-Performance Education, and member of the advisory board of the OpEx Society and the AXIOM Groupe.