personal assistant

YOUR NEW A.I. ASSISTANT
December 23, 2015 4:21 pm

Artificial Intelligence has come a long way from being just a theme in sci-fi. It has become something that is present in our daily lives. From Microsoft’s Cortana, to Apple’s Siri, artificial intelligence has come into our lives, becoming an essential way to live easier. Way easier.

X.ai is a company that was funded in early 2014 with the thought of using artificial intelligence as a personal assistant. The product that they created was Amy.

Amy is an A.I. made by x.ai that acts as a personal assistant by using data you offer in order to book appointments for you. You start off by emailing x.ai your availability and Amy then keeps that stored for future reference when booking your appointments. Once that is completed, you just simply CC Amy when sending out an email or a reply, where you would have to schedule a meeting, and Amy does the rest. Amy corresponds back and forth with the other person and gives them available times for meetings.

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Amy makes sure that you have a set time and when it is all set and done, sends you an email confirming the date at the end. While this product is made for mostly business types, it is one that is available to anyone. If you want to schedule a dinner date with your friend, you can totally do that with Amy. It might make you look like lazy, but has that ever stopped you from doing something, or nothing, before?

What makes Amy different than most other A.I. is its eerie human likeness. From the testimonials on twitter, it seems that most people find Amy to be a product that is competent and something that they
can rely on. Not as charming as Samantha from Her, not as life threatening as Hal from 2001: A Space Odyssey, Amy is right in the middle of the A.I. spectrum on a zone that Goldy Locks and I would call just right.

While Amy is a great service for the modern businessman, it might not be the case for the everyday lay person. If you are coming in and out of meetings every day and don’t know how to manage your work and home life, then Amy will become a cheap alternative to having an assistant. If you don’t fit the aforementioned type then this product is probably not a practical option. Better to just text your friends back and forth until you find a common open date. If you need a little guidance, a planner might come in handy. Or not. I’ve found out the hard way that when you take out your planner in the middle of a conversation to plan a date, you just get mocked.

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WHAT I WOULD SAY TO MY AMAZON ECHO
November 25, 2015 1:30 am

Picture yourself driving your car. Just a regular Sunday drive with the fam, on your way to the Apple store or Best Buy or whatever Circuit City wannabe is convenient and affordable. Maybe you’re cruising in your brand new, wifi-connected sedan. Maybe the kids are streaming Elmo in the backseat, bae is tweeting hard in shotgun, and you’ve got Siri barking directions through the stereo. You check a snap, ‘gram a selfie and think to yourself, “Do I have enough technology in my life? Are other people more fun than me? I like Siri but I don’t like this stupid phone she comes with, can’t I just leave her in my kitchen all the time?”

Well stop the car and open your eyes. Get your ass on that internet. The future is now, and it comes with a robotic personal assistant: the Amazon Echo. Use your car’s built-in wifi, baby! That’s why you got it!

Amazon Echo is a smallish cylindrical speaker designed to be your family’s virtual butler. Apple has Siri, Microsoft has Cortana, and now Amazon has Alexa. She’s always listening, just give her a command. Go ahead, try it!

“Alexa, play the Macarena.”

Boom! Just like that, you’re dancing. I like your style too, keep up the good work.

“Alexa, please pass the ketchup.”

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Whoa there buddy, not so fast. Alexa’s not your crummy old lazy Susan. Save actually doing stuff for the drones.

“Alexa, is Inspector Gadget considered science-fiction or fantasy?”

See? It’s easy! Amazon has taken the convenience of pressing a button on your phone and removed having to actually press the button or have a phone. Put Siri inside a Bose Wave music system and you’ve got the Echo.

No it’s not actually partnered with Bose, but the sound quality is rumored to be excellent. So are the 7 internal microphones designed to receive your every command, even over the unimaginable dins, ruckuses, and everyday blatherings of you and your family. Yes, these microphones are always at attention, eager to fulfill your requests and perhaps amass usable data for Amazon or the government to exploit. Wake up America!

Calm down America. Take off your tinfoil hats and get real. Nobody cares about your gossip and rigamarole. The government doesn’t want your grandma’s famous margarita recipe (although if it’s anything like Grandma Anderson’s, I wouldn’t blame them). Your Xbox Kinect is already watching you every single day and night of your relentless lives. What more do you have to lose?

“Alexa, does the NSA still monitor all of my phone and internet conversations?”

That’s a ridiculous question, and it has nothing to do with Alexa. How dare you associate your little kitchen helper–your recipe robot, your family friend!–to the nefarious activity of the American government. Get off your high horse and do the dishes.

“Alexa, do we really need another distraction in our lives? Didn’t we already invent Siri? Where does it all end?!”

Come on dude, work with me here. Gimme something I can use.

“Alexa, who am I?”

Whoa that’s deep. No wait, I can do this. Let me think a second, hold on.

Okay. Picture yourself driving your car. Just a regular Sunday drive with the fam, on your way to the Apple store or Best Buy or whatever Radio Shack vulture is convenient and affordable. Maybe you’re connected to your car’s built-in wifi, and maybe you just got a reminder from Alexa. Maybe you’ve synced the app and all its data onto your phone so it can track you around and tell the government that you were late to your appointment. You don’t worry though, because you’re a good person. Your kids learn the alphabet in the backseat, bae tweets fire at celebrities, and you get home in time to ask Alexa the meaning of life. Just another perfect day with your Amazon Echo.

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