In just a few years, women could run the world. Well, at least, women AI bots. It seems like every major tech company these days is working on an AI bot project. Facebook, Google and Amazon are at the forefront, of course, but Microsoft just bought up Semantic Machines earlier this week. What's interesting about all these AI bots is that they're all women. Think Siri. Or Alexa. Or Sophia. And now Bank of America is rolling out a new AI-powered finance bot called Erica.
Think about that for a moment. While the inner algorithmic workings of these bots are gender-neutral (just a series of binary 1's and 0's), the human-computer interface is almost always female. Soon, women AI bots will be who we turn to for anything - any time we need advice or instructions, any time we need to move money around, or any time we need advice about what TV show to watch at night. These women AI bots will run this motha.
A Star Trek thought experiment for AI
Do you remember that one famous (original) Star Trek episode called By Any Other Name? In it, two alien scouts from a faraway civilization turn themselves into humanoid-looking forms in order to appear as harmless as possible to Captain Kirk and his crew when they arrive on the planet. One of the humanoids is named Kelinda, and she's a drop-dead gorgeous blonde. So just how dangerous could Kelinda really be? It turns out that "she" is from the Andromeda Galaxy and is trying to hijack the USS Enterprise.
Which got me thinking... If you were an alien race visiting planet Earth for the first time, wouldn't you try to make yourself appear as non-threatening as possible? You'd slowly seduce the population with your charm and beauty, while all along, you might be planning something truly nefarious. During that initial "seduction" period, you'd steadily learn about humans, what makes them tick, and how to control them. Then, at exactly the right moment, you'd flip the switch. Game over.
To me, that's what is going to happen with AI. We are going to be so seduced by the ease and convenience of using AI bots that we are going to let down our defenses. As long as Alexa is dutifully helping us choose the right movie to watch or the right music to listen to, we might not care that she's secretly snooping on us. (Or laughing at us).
All I can say is, if some tech company decides to name its AI interface "Kelinda," all bets are off the table. Who run this world? Who run this motha? Bots.