In the months leading up to the pandemic, 73-year-old best-selling author Deepak Chopra uploaded his “conscience” to the AI Foundation to ensure he would be around to chat with future generations. Virgin Galactic founder Richard Branson, Twitter co-founder Biz Stone, and venture capitalist Cyan Bannister followed suit.
Now they see a future full of custom AI for everyone.
In an interview with Chopra, he told me that his goal is to help 1 billion people with their AI. Stone sent a message that he has been sending his AI to conferences and trained her to tell jokes, and Bannister has been letting his AI investigate the founders’ pitches.
But to get an idea of where this is all headed, perhaps the most surprising revelation came last year when Bannister’s AI told an audience at the Summit of Virtual Beings who is excited about learning new skills and sharing information long after Bannister is gone. Branson’s AI expressed a similar sentiment. In this video from the One Young World conference, watch how AIs converse with each other.
Your own Deepak
In 2019, Chopra began training his artificial intelligence on 90 of his books and a trove of exclusive content. Then, in early 2020, he launched his Deepak digital app on iOS and Android to allow fans to have one-on-one conversations with him in search of better sleep, nutrition, fitness, relationships, and stress management for emotional resilience and well-being.
Surprisingly, Digital Deepak was only downloaded 15,000 times during the pandemic according to mobile analytics firm Apptopia, while other blocking apps like Clubhouse ended up racking up more than 10 million downloads.
Chopra attributed the slow growth to his decision to keep marketing until AI had a chance to hone in on user feedback.
“This is not a normal application. Interact with you, answer your questions, and run a library search if you don’t know the answers. Then he asks me if he can’t find the answer. You learn by interacting with people and make lifestyle recommendations based on what you learn, so we take our time to get it right. I’m not in a rush to get millions of users. I want this to be a trusted partner for life, ”he said. “To date, there have been tens of thousands of conversations where the model has been trained and a new version is coming soon that is so advanced that you won’t even know you are talking to a machine.”
Fascinated with the prospect of improving lives, Chopra has been on a mission to bring Digital Deepak to critically ill people.
“My hope is that my AI can compassionately advise people on whatever they are going through, be it cancer therapy or diabetes management. There are standard protocols for people undergoing chemotherapy and radiation. People have many questions and no one has time to answer them or address their anxieties. What if my hair falls out? What happens when I have nausea and vomiting? What if I can’t sleep at night? These tasks can easily be relegated to an AI. “
See how Digital Deepak comforts Jimmy Fallon with a meditation on the Tonight Show.
Behind the curtain
Founded in 2017 by San Francisco game publisher Lars Buttler, Trion Worlds co-founder, and artificial intelligence scientist Rob Meadows, the AI Foundation raised $ 24.5 million with the backing of high-profile investors including Bannister, Stone, the producer of One Young World, David Jones and Hollywood. power brokers Charles King and Ari Emanuel.
But implementing celebrity AI is just the beginning of plans to scale human cognition and creativity, Buttler told me while sharing his greatest ambition.
“We are developing a platform that allows companies to create AI agents of any kind and we have signed a number of enterprise clients, including telcos and universities, for our native AI human beings as a service,” he said. “As people have become accustomed to talking to faces on a screen, doors have been opened for artificial humans to serve on the front lines of customer service and other key operations of organizations to offer greater reach, better availability. and more flexibility. ”
Later, Buttler hopes to open the platform to the public to allow people to be in multiple places at the same time and make it possible to revive lost loved ones, even historical figures. “We can create any human character, the possibilities are endless,” he said, illustrating it with a video created from Joe Biden dancing which went viral on TikTok.
Seen this movie before
What could go wrong in a world where it is as easy to create an AI from the president of the United States as it is from yourself? How can chaos be avoided once fully deployed?
Buttler said: “Our native AI humans are marked to clearly identify themselves as digital beings doing specific work and never claiming to be real.”
If all else fails, he added, there are tools to protect against deepfakes.