Less Detroit: Become Human, more Cortana from Halo.
Most old-school depictions of the 21st century had several common threads, one of which being conversing with computers. We can speak to our computers now, but it’s not really a conversation; things like Alexa or Google Assistant just parse vocal commands and execute programs. What we really want is an artificial intelligence we can have a bona-fide conversation with. At CES, Samsung has taken an honest shot at the concept.
Samsung, through their STAR Labs subdivision, has revealed Neon, branded as an “artificial human” program. It’s not a robot, and it’s not a smart assistant; rather, Neons are sort of like chatbots with a face and a voice. A simulated human appears onscreen and you can hold an actual conversation with it (or at least a rough approximation of one).
STAR Labs have got some big plans for Neons, saying that the avatars could be used as personal assistants, but could also fill roles on their own for jobs like customer service and TV anchors. Neons allegedly become more intelligent and emotive as they interact with people; STAR Labs even went so far as to say that each Neon develops its own memories and emotions.
Of course, it’s easy to say all of this, while demonstrating it is another matter. The tech is still deep in development, and STAR Labs says it probably won’t be ready for a commercial rollout any time soon. On the off chance that they’re not just blowing smoke, though, this could be an unprecedented breakthrough in the field of artificial intelligence.