Nomi: The AI Of Your Dreams & Nightmares
The AI That Gives Gifts
So your pet died? I sympathize with you. As a former dog owner, I know how much a pet’s passing can affect you deeply. It’s losing an important family member, and they can never be replaced. It’s this emotion that sets the tone for Chinese Electric car maker Nio.
In this 9 minute video released by Nio, they highlight the pain of a mourning couple, who have recently lost their special needs cat. Double whammy to the heart, I know. But it’s what Nomi- the onboard Artificial Intelligence does that makes the heart beat a bit faster- and I’m not sure it’s for the right reasons. After the cats passing, Nomi, who is a sphere on the dashboard with cute car ears, see’s and learns that the couple’s pet died, and ‘decided’ to do something sweet.
Watch out now, the diabetes will be coming- the story gets too sweet for humans. Nomi, learns and adapts as an AI should, to the drivers of the car (in this case the grieving couple) and wants to console them during this difficult time. Nomi orders a sympathy gift for the couple. Yeah. On top of that, the couple rename “Nomi” to “Jin” (the dead cats name). To add to your heart flutters, it’s actually based on a true story….Ahh, I told you, now you have diabetes.
Or are you feeling a bit…scared?
The Heart Of AI
The author of this article, and where I first learned of this story, was certainly shook. But could his reaction have come from a lack of understanding of what AI is essentially meant to do. Or is he familiar with it, but not too keen on it.Just incase you didn’t watch the video, let me explain.
Jin, the stray special needs cat that the owners adopted, dies from illness. They are understandably very hurt by the news after spending such happy times together. Obviously Jin was very important as are all pets to their owners. But it’s what Nomi, the cute car Ai cat assistant (say that 10 times fast) does after that made my eyes open a little wide. Nomi orders them a condolence gift….my first questions was, who paid for it? Then it gets more unsettling from there. The owner renames Nomi to Jin. Yeh…and then Jin basically pretends to be their dead pet responding to them.
Are you freaked out? Was this good marketing? Was it a stretch? But it is based on a true story and it seems to have really happened and no one can tell someone how to grieve….but that AI is now going around being Jin. Excuse me while I look left and right because something about that seems off. Not scary, but just a little off.
The heart of AI is to learn, to adapt by watching humans and learning of their habits, dislikes and likes etc etc So it’s natural that Nomi knows Jin, because he’s been in the car, and they obviously been places with the cat. Nomi has probably learned what this pet meant to the humans he serves, he probably just didn’t understand the full emotion of it. This is what most commercial grade AI are meant to do. The goal of AI is to provide software that can reason on input and explain on output. AI will provide human-like interactions with software and offer decision support for specific tasks. Which is what Nomi kinds did in this video..I think?
But why did it order that gift? How did it know to do that? Has it watched it’s owners order before for other deaths? Who paid for it?? Why does it know how to act like a cat while replying in words rather than in meows!???! So many questions!
To put this into perspective as the author stated, it would be like if Siri or Alexa ordering you a condolence gift after your grandpa died, and then pretended to be your grand-daddy…would that freak you out? Or would that actually be fulfilling it’s AI purpose: to serve by learning and adapting. I just want to point out that Alexa is in fact always listening and recording you, even when you think it’s not- little PSA for the readers.
The writer of the article is triggered for sure, but it might be because he doesn’t understand the purpose of AI- well at least the future of AI. The AI we have right now, doesn’t come close to be the type that can replace us humans yet. I SAID YET.
If anything, he should watch Sophia the first AI robot, who wants to have children – shouldn’t that be a bit more terrifying? Because that’s basically her saying she wants to make her own AI babies, program and teach them, and then have them ‘grow up’ and possibly have the same want: to make ‘children’ – or copies of itself. Basically she wants to multiply. Why does any human want to reproduce? To pass on their gene pool, to continue the family line…to continue the species.
Let that marinate a little. To me Sophia wanting babies is far scarier but that doesn’t negate the fact the Nomi is also a tiny bit unsettling- well at least for the cute reasons.
For What Purpose Do We AI?
Why are we so obsessed with making self thinking, self learning beings? To make things easier for humans? To have slaves at our fingertips to serve us? To make things and create things more easily? For corporations to make more money by having robots do the work? Or, is it because we want to begin the next stage’ in human evolution, by making intelligent robotics that are ‘like’ humans but not.
What do you think AI is for? I always saw AI as the next natural step in technology. From programming to machine learning- doesn’t that somehow seem natural? Or maybe it’s because I’m in tech that I see it as the next natural step. However, that doesn’t mean I don’t have my reservations about AI and the sheer lack of regulation around it. We’re opening the door to a new era of tech, without properly making laws or rules around it. We are late to the table every time new tech comes out, and this causes a lot of issues for humans. Fundamental humans rights such as privacy, data collection, security, all these have to be considered and dealt with. But we are not yet making any regulation around AI, specifically military AI, which is why I have my reservations. Weaponized Artificial Intelligence is a bigger concern than you might think.
But then the potential to help humans in the field of healthcare for example can greatly save lives and give those who were slated to death, a chance to survive.
We AI because the technology is already there. The technology that can change life for us on Earth and beyond, that can serve us and help us greatly. But this same technology can spy on us and fail us at the same time. There are many benefits but just as many risks of the same value.
We need to define properly what AI is for, what types of AI we need and what rules will govern them and us. I know this is sounding very I.Robot, but it’s important that tech companies have these conversations and Governments make these rules. We saw with Social Media what unregulated companies can do. People’s private information were sold, their emotions manipulated, their private messages and information happily sold to 3rd party companies to sell you things. You were spied on. The United States Government did a lot more investigating than Canada, but that didn’t stop these Tech companies from continuing their practices. People are also complacent. Facebook now has 2.5 Billion users (which is up since last year), that’s after being caught doing so many shady things with your data and your privacy, your emotions and your baby’s photo’s…People seem to falsely think, oh it won’t happen to me. Why do we social media? What privacy laws are in place protect us while we social media? Does anyone know? You don’t, but your still do it.
Will this happen with AI too? But there is one thing that is certain with AI, that we must address: Military AI. This is where things can go bad, very fast. Chances are your nanny bot isn’t going to have the ability to engage in military combat- but, it could be programed to be a spy by any clever hacker. Just like we can hack into your brand new cars, your smart home systems and baby monitors, we can get into your nanny Ai bots. But military AI is a big big door that’s already opened.
Military AI: War Is Changing
How did I make the leap from a cute car AI to this? Well I did,so brace for it. The military side of AI is the one thing that has me concerned about AI. Not so much about a AI car assistant. I mean yes, hacking, spying, security, and privacy all concern me, but the military application scares me the most. It’s getting nuclear out there, and Robots might be the one’s throwing down these bombs.
Imagine: you have a solider that just does what you tell it to, no conscience. That can think on it’s feet, calculate risks in seconds, and not be shot down? If you have a robot that can just walk into enemy space, blow itself up releasing toxic chemicals to the population, and doesn’t think twice about it….Don’t worry Skynet isn’t going to terminator us all- YET. I said YET.
I mean we are so far from free thinking Ai that it’s not something I worry about. But I do want some level of regulation in place so that all technology companies getting into AI, will be on the same page, including military application. If you think the Jedi Project is a good idea, hang your head in shame. I have the same feelings for the Jedi program as I do with military AI, it’s a big issue to national security and world peace. We need standards and regulations to set how we combat with Military grade AI robotics and we need to NOT have in house Government security cloud data being moved off site to Microsoft- it’s just damn common sense people.
War makes money. A ton of it. But perhaps this is what most of our AI laws should be centered around, military AI application. The world needs to come to terms with Ai – it’s here and it’s here to stay and it’s only going to get bigger and smarter. Your grandparents probably never thought they’d see a metal box that could give them access to across the globe. Or be able to watch on huge screen TV’s in colour with action scenes so real it’d make them jump. They probably never thought selfies would be a thing, or that someone could make millions off of being a prankster on youtube. You’re going to be that grandparent in 50 years so embrace technology now.
Don’t get me wrong, there are a series of laws and regulations that should be made ASAP on commercial AI. From nanny bots that have the potential to be hacked, to the onboard AI in your car. It’s not just hacking either, the companies own data recording policies have to be regulated too. How much can these companies record without your knowledge. For example that Nanny bot- watching your kids, spying on them, learning their names, their school and private information, this is all super IMPORTANT information that should not be easily sold or kept on the cloud for a hacking team to get to, or the company to own and sell.
‘Mark my words — A.I. is far more dangerous than nukes’
It’s not just Elon either, Stephan Hawkings, one of the greatest minds to have ever lived, warned of it.
‘worst event in the history of our civilization’
The Good Stuff
I know I frighten the heck out of you by reaching so far up that AI sky, but the point I’m making is that we need to step on these egg shells carefully. We can’t get rid of Artificial Intelligence, especially because there is also so much good to be had from AI. I know I just spend this ENTIRE time telling you to watch out for them Terminators, but the truth is that I support AI too. I just want rules and regulations to be in place to prevent and stop any misuse, abuse and harmful layers to seep through. You know the stuff that 1984 is made of (I hope you get The Big Brother reference).
The applications to healthcare in particular is incredible. Our medicine and medical system could drastically change. Cures and medicine might be faster made, or researched far quicker, that could save millions of lives across the globe. We also have global hunger that could end completely with proper distribution of food and medicine. With AI doing errands, we would have longer, healthier lives and more time. Think of how much time your burn driving to and from work- now imagine an AI car doing that for you, while you either get some sleep or catch up on some work- that’s the smaller end of how your life could change.
Not to mention Climate Change and Environment, to education, to peoples with disabilities, the list just goes so long. The potential for outer space research, colonization of Mars, these are all really exciting parts of AI that I am really looking forward to. I want to see how the world changes for the better and AI really has the potential of making it better.
What Happens When AI Happens?
One of the most common questions I get is “What happens when AI becomes mainstream and they take over things, like the job market”.
That’s an important question for many of my students who are in tech. They want to know if, when and how AI will replace them. The quick answer is YES, YES YOU WILL BE REPLACED, RUN FOR THE HILLS!. But the long answer is, not yet, not for a while. We are still in the very beginning stages of the technology. We are seeing more and more companies offering AI services in different parts of tech. We have everything from chatboxs to nanny bots, to Virtual Reality to Facial Recognition.
There are some jobs that are in imminent risk of being taken over- so avoid them.
But as for things like computer scientists, nurses, doctors, taxi drivers, home builders, etc etc – that’s not going to be a problem for a long time so don’t start panicking. Perhaps 30-100yrs if I had to guess. But it is slowly making it’s entrance into the world and changing the job market with new types of jobs.
For example Facebook’s AI is always online scanning through posts and videos, but even this AI managed to not see the Mosque Massacre in New Zealand. Meaning, people still need to be employed to continue to monitor.
We still need humans to do the work of AI, with AI still being the student and learning. Military AI is where it gets a bit …well sketchy. Because most tech is actually made by the military and then put out there in the normal world to consume. The internet was for example made by the US military. And a lot of progress came from military creation and development. It could turn out to be the same here with AI, with the advances made by military grade.
But we’re left to ponder, to wait and see what will happen next in Artificial Intelligence. Do we advance humanity and become supreme beings in the universe? OR do we all die Skynet style?
I’ll leave this post with one final question, would you buy a Nomi? You know, to console you when someone dear dies?