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October 23, 2017

Why AI will be your new best friend

Written By Nikki McCaig
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How do we define a friend? Someone who listens? Someone you can chat to? Someone who entertains you, makes you laugh, plays games with you, knows all your favourite songs and gets your coffee order just right?

New research is predicting that in as little as ten years time, AI bots and softwares will become humanity’s ‘new best friend’. With the power to carry out all functions of a human friend, i.e. companionship, entertainment, interaction, wholesome advice, the only differences between an AI and your childhood bff is a physical form. But even that won’t stop an AI from becoming your next best friend.

So what is the evidence that AI systems are going to be the next robotic companion for humans?

Intelligence and Independence

roller ai best friendIn a study carried out by TechWorld, it was revealed that 71% of people want intelligent robots to play a major role in their lives, helping them to complete their daily tasks and organising their personal schedules. One of the biggest benefits to adopting AI, as predicted by researchers, is the renewed time saved by letting software and robotic coding carry out the mundane, time-wasting tasks that you could do without. This frees up more personal time, which is an advantage for many, yet interestingly, more and more people will be turning back to their AI systems in this free time – reasserting the role of AI as a true companion.

The independent nature of the AI software is another comforting factor for many who are adapting to the interactions, with technology like Alexa and Google Echo using voice response, automatic command, and vocal recognition to actually engage in conversations with their users. This new element of the software is one that makes AI one of the best candidates for the next humanoid best friend, in that it can provide human interaction for isolated or lonely users.

Sentimentality

roller ai best friendAnother interesting factor about the idea of an AI best friend is that it isn’t actually a brand new idea at all. For years, humans have eagerly adopted various pieces of technology and software and attached particular versions of sentimentality to them. From the Tamagotchi to Nintendogs, users have been affectionately engaging with pixels and codes, and with the digital revolution even more technology for users to become attached to is available to hand. Our mobile phones, our laptops, our headphones, our music devices, our tablets…we customize them and make them personal to us.

We name our cars and we talk to our printers when they don’t do what we want. We are part of the generation who creates and adopts friendly technology in the same way that we adopt pets and fluffy animals. Therefore it’s easy to see how the the same affection could be attuned to an AI device – a talking, operating, independent voice that can reply to your 1am questions and organise your difficult meetings with your boss.

Personal Preferences

roller ai best friendOne of the biggest benefits to the introduction of AI as your new best friend is their ability to adapt and learn your personal preferences. From knowing which playlist will wake you up in the morning, to remembering your favourite brand of chocolate, to helping you pick out which lipstick shade will look good on you that day.

At Roller, we’re constantly in awe of the strides that AI is making in terms of personal preferences. Currently, we’re working on an AI project to help users diagnose their own skin, recommending the products they’ll love to use – using AI to fill in the role of the best friend who stands next to you by the mirror and lends you their favourite lip balm.

Recommendations, remembered favourites, recipes, books, hobbies, interests, films, clothing brands…when AI gets the full measure of you, they can tailor themselves to be and do what you like them to. This makes us feel more attached to them, implying that we know them, that they’re someone we would get along with in real life – our next best friend.

It’s not hard to believe that in ten years, your best friend might be an AI software device. With so many tailored and personalised elements in place to humanise these devices, there’s nothing to stop AI’s from entering the human world on a personal, friendly level, and becoming our next best friend.