anthropomorphic user interfaces

11 Sep 2022 07:14 - 13 Sep 2022 11:33
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    • That's a neutral way to say, technologies that mimic human beings, particularly their conversational interaction. This is a huge huge sub-industry, and one I might conceivably have found myself working in. Not so much Artificial Intelligence as Artificial Agency. Siri was the first of these to gain commercial traction, Alexa and others followed suit, the genre was captured in movies like Her and Ironman's Jarvis.
    • Voice is kind of the easiest in terms of hardware, but there is work to mimic other aspects of human-human interaction, like facial expressions and gestures.
    • Apologia

      • Despite my interests in AI and agency I never really wanted to work on stuff like this. Hard to say exactly why but I have no interest in making fake people. It's not so much that it's morally wrong (although there are plenty of people who will make arguments for that, eg Computer Power and Human Reason), it's more for the same reasons why I've never been much of a fiction writer, my imagination just doesn't tend that way. A pity because there are obviously a lot of very interesting problems and also a ton of money to be made.
      • It could be that I am of the Philip K Dick generation rather than the Isaac Asimov generation. Asimov's robots were artificial individuals, who might express psychological quirks or defects but were fundamentally human-like. Dick's robots were more like manifestations of an underlying system of control. I'd say the Dickian version has more relevance for our time. Any artificial mind you interact with today is just the API surface of an enormous corporation, and working on them is morally compromised, like working on advertising or something else that is obviously detrimental to human flourishing.