If you are Amazon with Alexa, clearly your AI needs a personality–Alexa wants to be your helpful friend. You talk to her. She talks back. No problem. But does your business AI need a personality? Everywhere you look, someone thinks it does. IBM wants you to love Watson. SAP has Leonardo. Salesforce has Einstein. For you big companies left: Fermi, Curie, and Plato are up for grabs, I think.
Do we need to anthropomorphize AI to make it marketable? Palatable? Acceptable? Approachable? Is this an important part of AI adoption, or a silly phase we will look back on with disdain? I personally think it’s overkill and might actually backfire as we all become better sophisticated, learning that AI isn’t anywhere near as smart as Albert Einstein, Leonardo da Vinci, or even IBM founder Tom Watson.
Maybe we should be looking for real genius, like the guy who invented soft-serve ice cream, Tom Carvel. I can hear him now, “Look at this AI. It’s beautiful AI. It’s the best AI money can buy.” So, maybe we should name our AI “Tom.” Yeah, not sexy, I know, but that’s the point.
AI is becoming embedded in every kind of software you can imagine, and, at it’s best, it isn’t noticeable at all. It just does the job better.
I think Google has the right approach. Yes, you say “Hey, Google,” when you want to talk to your Google Assistant, but there are countless AI component inside dozens of Google products, starting with Google Search, that don’t need a name. They just work better.
To me, that’s what we really needed. AI that works better, rather than has a cute name.
Full disclosure: I am the Senior Strategist at Converseon and SoloSegment, both of which have AI that works, without any cute names.