Digital Transformation Through Agile Delivery
IT Agility AbilityTM
Digital Transformation Through Agile Delivery
IT Agility AbilityTM

AI: the new you of the future

By . December 20, 2018
TV shows tend to have a way of paving the course of technology. Star Trek gave us the possibility of using a slab of plastic, metal and glass to provide us with whatever information we desire and even cartoons such as Inspector Gadget gave us the idea of a smart watch. Today, these items are readily available to the public and according to ‘Black Mirror’ the next step in fictional technology materialising into our current zeitgeist is bespoke AI.

For the uninitiated, ‘Black Mirror’ is a series of dark self-contained hour long episodes blending technology and everyday life with a hint of a dystopian not too distant future. The show caught my interest in one of the later episodes titled ‘Be Right Back’. The story starts off with a couple, Ash and Martha moving to their new home in the country. Ash is seen to be compulsive social media user, constantly checking and posting at any given moment. After Ash lost his life in a car accident return the moving van, Martha was left grief-stricken. During the funeral, Martha’s friend Sarah mentioned a service that she should sign up to, a service that would allow for communication between the living and the dead.

The first thing you would think of is a séance or something else of that mystical nature; the service was all down to an app. The app reads all the posts from the deceased social media profiles and creates an AI that perfectly matches the original. Although Martha originally rejects the idea of using the app, she slowly comes around due to loneliness, the potential of hearing from her lover and sheer curiosity. Moments later, Martha receives an email, supposedly from Ash and they start communicating via instant messaging. Martha then decides to upload pictures and voice recordings of Ash to the app so that she can talk to Ash over the phone and to her amazement, the AI sounded exactly like Ash and also shares his distinctive sarcastic wit. Every day Martha calls Ash but on day damages her phone. Instead of feeling angered or worried over losing all the information on her phone, she panics about losing AI Ash. The damage to Martha’s phone is not as serious as she thought and she regains connection with AI Ash. AI Ash comforts Martha that even if her phone is damaged, he is stored on the services server and accessible via the Cloud.


I won’t go any further just in case you would like to watch this episode and want to see what happens next.


What drew me into this episode is how close we are to actually achieve this level of AI. Companies such as Microsoft (Cortana, Tai), Google (Google Assistant) and Apple (Siri) are dabbling with AI that learns and improves and at times gives the impression of a personality. Ask the latest version of google assistant to “Make you an X” and the response is a magical chime and Google Assistant replying “You are an X”.

With social media being a huge part of our lives, there is nothing that is stopping learning AI to pick up your interests, you humour, potentially your attitude and in fact becoming a ‘virtual’ you.

This technology could have excellent real world applications for those grieving, as it could give users a chance for closure, to say things that they never had the chance to say. But as with anything if it falls into the wrong hands there could be an out of cyber identity thefts.

With Cloud services booming, this gives more credence to an AI version of you being accessible anywhere.

By the end of the episode, I believed that this form of AI will be achievable in the near future. All the technology is available today, so only time will tell whether this ‘service’ will also make an appearance with self-driving cars, self-lacing trainers and virtual reality headsets.


Do you see this service appearing in your app store anytime soon?




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