An intelligent personalized agent (e.g., guardian angel) monitors and evaluates a user’s environment to assist in decision-making processes on behalf of the user. The guardian angel can… take automated action on behalf of the user for various purposes (e.g., to compensate for memory loss, to remind a user to take medicine, to assist in social interactions by indicating whether the user has met an individual before, to gauge the appropriateness of jokes or comments given the demographics of the audience, etc.).
the above quote is from a patent that was just granted to Microsoft for a “guardian angel.” this guardian angel is like a personal assistant, wet nurse, researcher, personal slave, backup brain hard drive, and personal private detective (who would analyze conversations in the room and cross-reference participants with FBI wanted lists and sex offender registrations) combined into one. i’m sort of picturing that quasi-annoying bot in Caprica only more so.
is this at all surprising? absolutely not. we knew this sort of stuff was coming.
is it terrifying and quite possibly a prelude to our imminent demise at the hands of a cylon/human apocalypse? very possibly.
i find it interesting that our country is really only recently thinking about ethical and social issues revolving around artificial intelligence in science and pop culture. battlestar galactica and the upcoming caprica are recent examples of america coming to terms with realistic artificial intelligence scenarios. before that, what, the terminator? japan has been thinking about this stuff for decades — what makes us so slow?