Sophie, Your Virtual Assistant
More virtual assistants are on the way - like Sophie.
Until recently, Robyn Ewing was a writer in Hollywood, developing TV scripts and pitching pilots to film studios.
Now she’s applying her creative talents toward building the personality of a different type of character — a virtual assistant, animated by artifical intelligence, that interacts with sick patients.
Ewing works with engineers on the software program, called Sophie, which can be downloaded to a smartphone. The virtual nurse gently reminds users to check their medication, asks them how they are feeling or if they are in pain, and then sends the data to a real doctor.
As tech behemoths and a wave of start-ups double down on virtual assistants that can chat with human beings, writing for AI is becoming a hot job in Silicon Valley. Behind Apple’s Siri, Amazon’s Alexa and Microsoft’s Cortana are not just software engineers. Increasingly, there are poets, comedians, fiction writers, and other artistic types charged with engineering the personalities for a fast-growing crop of artificial intelligence tools.
Sophie is close to what Frederik Pohl was talking about when he described the joymaker in his 1965 novel The Age of the Pussyfoot:
"Gripes," he said, "tell me something. What would you do, right now, if you were me?"
The joymaker answered without hesitation, as though that sort of question were coming up every day. "If I were you, Man Forrester, which is to say, if I were human, just unfrozen, without accommodations, lacking major social contacts, unemployed, unskilled—"
"That's the picture, all right," Forrester agreed. "So answer the question."
Something was crawling underfoot. He stepped aside, out of its way, a glittering metal thing.
"I would go to a tea shop, Man Forrester. I would then read my orientation book while enjoying a light meal. I would then think things over. I would then—"
"That's far enough."
Via Washington Post.
Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 7/19/2016)
Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.
| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |
you like to contribute a story tip?
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add
Comment/Join discussion ( 0 )
Related News Stories -
BabyX AI Real Enough For You
'...what's to keep me from showing face, Man? I'm showing a voice this instant... I can show a face the same way.' - Robert Heinlein, 1966.
Someday, You Might Like VR Enough To Move In
'That barrier was going to melt away someday soon. The transhumanists had promised...' - Stephen Baxter, 2008.
Gatebox Virtual Girlfriend Perfect For Budding Salaryman
'She is ... a congeries of software agents.' - William Gibson, 1996.
Sophie, Your Virtual Assistant
'What would you do, right now, if you were me? ...The joymaker answered without hesitation.' - Frederik Pohl, 1966.
Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!)
is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for
the Invention Category that interests
you, the Glossary, the Invention
Timeline, or see what's New.
Elon Musk Seeks To Create 1941 Heinlein Speedster
'The car surged and lifted, clearing its top by a negligible margin.'
Somnox Sleep Robot - Your Sleepytime Cuddlebot
Science fiction authors are serious about sleep, too.
Real-Life Macau or Ghost In The Shell
Art imitates life imitates art.
Has Climate Change Already Been Solved By Aliens?
'I had explained," said Nessus, "that our civilisation was dying in its own waste heat.'
First 3D Printed Human Corneas From Stem Cells
Just what we need! Lots of spare parts.
VirtualHome: Teaching Robots To Do Chores Around The House
'Just what did I want Flexible Frank to do? - any work a human being does around a house.'
Messaging Extraterrestrial Intelligence (METI) Workshop
SF writers have thought about this since the 19th century.
Nanorobots Roam Your Bloodstream, Cleaning It
Too bad they won't have lasers, though...
Galini 3D Printed Sleeping Pod Tiny Houses
'The houses are prefabricated units...'
MIT Boffins Create Psychopath AI On Purpose
There's a lesson in this for neural net AI engineers everywhere.
Skin Electronics 3D Printed
'June's body is a tracery of lambent lines, like some arcane capillary circuitry...'
Artificial Sensory Neurons For Prosthetics, Robots
Great for humans and robots!
China Uses Artificial Intelligence To Grade Student Papers
Looks like the City Fathers are starting to take over China's education system.
Electronic Tongues Will Rule The Kitchen
'Install taste buds in the end of one tentacle...'
Self-Healing Circuits From Carnegie Mellon
'It even had an inter-skin layer of gum that could seal the punctures...'
Swarm Of Mindless Robots Works Together
'Very tiny pseudo insects that... can unite to form a superordinate system.'
More SF in the News Stories
More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories