Friday, June 26, 2009

Is Artificial Intelligence Artificial Anymore? Has Xbox 360's Project Natal hit it big with Milo?

So I was following my normal blogs, and I found a really interesting video, so I thought I would forward it on and add a commentary:

So when I first saw this I realized what potential something like this could have. I automatically thought of the advertising market for it: just like in minority report at gap. A computerized sales person could instantly scan a person's clothing, and provide them with sales, or information similar to what they were wearing. Or once the technology got much cheaper, in places where there are automated tours, there could be a more real feeling to the tour with this technology.

Furthermore, they could be used at drive through restaurants. If the recognition became successfully enough, a computer could take people's orders rather than a real person. This could also be extended to selling tickets at movies. But there's one problem with this:

While it's all nice and great to create a more human feeling computer, there are times you just don't want one. Would you really want your iPod to start talking to you every time you change songs? While its nice to be able to have it tell you what song you're listening to if you're driving and can't look at the screen, it would get really annoying to have it start talking to you.

There's a reason why at the movie theaters I always go for the electric machines to buy tickets: they're way faster than the people. I would not want the machine to start asking me questions and have me answer them; I am perfectly content with purchasing the tickets without a human-like user interface. In fact, I would definitely be opposed to this change.

While it is obviously really intriguing to see what kind of artificial intelligence we can create for computers, there are areas of the electronic world which should progress in the opposite direction. Just as there are times when email and text based chat is more convenient and useful than talking on the phone, in person, or on video-chat, so to are there times when technology should not have any human aspects. On the other hand, this is awesome.

1 comment:

Julian said...

I saw this and this is really really cool. But I'd agree that there comes a time when we just want to be alone. While it'd be really cool to have a conversation with my computer, sometimes I just want to write an e-mail or something using a good ol' keyboard. Trust me; I've set up my computer so it can recognize my voice and write down what I say (like giving dictation). Very nice, but sometimes aggravating and slow.

Similarly, call me old fashioned, but I like holding a newspaper in my hand and reading it more than I do on a computer screen. Not to say that I never read the New York Times online (especially because I don't want to pay for a subscription), but yeah.

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