A.I. and You
WHY YOU SHOULD CARE
These AI-based technologies will soon shape your everyday choices.
By Charu Sudan Kasturi
Hollywood has primed most of us to instinctively think of artificial intelligence in terms of robots taking over entire industries — if not the world. In reality, of course, versions of AI have increasingly percolated into more mundane uses. Most chatbots today are AI-powered, for instance.
There’s nothing mundane, though, about the next wave of AI innovations. As technology advances rapidly, people will soon interact with AI in surprising ways in their everyday lives, like finding a date or a roommate and even fighting harassment or ordering at a restaurant.
AI and You, OZY’s latest original series, gives you a peek into how the technology could soon transform everything from your relationships to your meals.
You arrive at the drive-through restaurant to be greeted by an AI-powered voice-ordering assistant and a personalized menu that’s different for you and your friends. It changes based on any food allergies you have, what you’ve eaten in the past, the temperature and weather and the time of day. If that sounds futuristic, think again. AI is set to revolutionize how and what we order at restaurants.
Kevin Teman is the brain behind AIMM, a first-of-its-kind voice-activated dating app that launched last year and that uses AI to revolutionize the world of matchmaking — by taking it back to the way it used to be: waiting for a call. The app asks users questions for a week to gauge their personality and then sends matches. Once both you and your match have agreed to chat, AIMM will set up a phone call, for the couple to take it forward.
A growing body of research has shown that traditional dating apps do not handle the private data of their users securely and can’t verify the authenticity of profiles. That means it’s hard for them to track down the sender of those unwanted dick pics. They suspend an account, but the offender could create a new one. Now, an increasing number of AI-powered dating apps are emerging with the promise to use blockchain technology to offer secure and transparent experiences that could fundamentally redefine the online dating experience.
It’s been well-established that AI-based tools reflect the biases of the data fed into their algorithms. But what if AI-driven technologies could also fight discrimination or address workplace harassment? That’s what a number of new platforms are doing — from allowing employees to report incidents while taking human error out of the equation to helping sexual assault victims report what happened to them and identify serial offenders at tech companies and college campuses.
Youper is an AI-powered chatbot that helps users “track, process and identify their thoughts and feelings.” There’s a mood tracker, meditation reminder and journaling prompter. It also screens for symptoms of anxiety, depression and other mental health issues (it includes a disclaimer about when to consult a therapist IRL). You can also monitor your emotional and mental well-being over time. Youper checks in with you every day. “How are you? I’m curious.”
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- Charu Sudan Kasturi, OZY Author Contact Charu Sudan Kasturi