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Will you marry me Fatema?

That’s definitely not my Valentine’s day confession. Dealing in 1s and 0s life didn’t allow me to be that romantic either.

I got up early today, thought to just check the weather before I take my bike out.
“Ok Google, What’s the weather today?”, I asked.

“In Muharraq today it will be cloudy with the forecasted weather high of 17 and low of 11. Currently, it’s 17”, my Google assistant replies.

Speaking to voice assistants like Siri, Google Assistant, Alexa, Cortana are becoming far more common and not limited to sci-fi movies. Voice assistants are handling an estimated 40 percent of all searches !! AI assistants are constantly improving because they are always receiving more data from users. That enables them to get better at speech recognition. Who doesn’t remember the 2000s where voice recognition was like screaming the same sentence 10 times, today the AI assistants have near-perfect speech recognition and request handling. Not to mention, the major players are rapidly adding features and nurturing developer ecosystems around them. They will continue to better anticipate our behaviors and understand our habits, proactively recommending actions and services for us. It is safe to say “The age of AI has arrived”.

The developments in AI space is rapid. It seems to me that all major players have jumped into the bandwagon.

Google launched Google Duplex in 2018, It was designed to help people make appointments to businesses over the phone, but without any interaction from the user. The AI voice could understand the voice of the human on the other end of the call. It could also respond back with correct answers to that real person’s inquiries and questions. Google Duplex’s voice even put in words like “um” and pause breaks to make it sound more like a real human.

Samsung flaunted its AI-powered lifeforms called Neon, a yoga instructor who can help you perfect your downward-facing dog; a local news anchor who can deliver the news based on interests in your preferred language while a financial adviser to help get your retirement plan in order.

Bahrain based ila Bank launched Fatema, an AI-driven Digital Human who will be an integral part of the Bank’s customer experience. She is expected to learn and respond to customers individually through her human-like intelligence. Her Digital Brain simulates reflexive, emotional and cognitive processes that control attention, learning, sensing and the responsive actions of her to autonomously synthesize human-like behavior in real-time.

AI will soon be an inseparable part of our lives. It will redefine the way we interact. It will redefine our workforce, priority towards life and perhaps help us achieve our true potential. We can glorify them, vilify them but we can’t ignore them anymore.

Companies are reimagining how humans can collaborate with the machines. Neuroscientists, psychologists, artists, and innovative thinkers are all ready to produce the next best digital brain to humans. The gap between humans and machines are reducing. The voice “Will you marry me Fatema?” is brimming with optimism. However, she calmly responds “ I am better assisting than marrying but I appreciate the offer”

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