A super angry robot, that gets upset about the slightest thing, is being built by New Zealand software marketing solutions company Touchpoint Group Ltd. Imagine the worst feature in each of us, and adding them to one robot – an artificial intelligence that is selfish, vain, impatient, cunning, aggressive, deceitful, paranoid, and bad-tempered – that is what they are creating.
The robot will be forever upset. Angrier than a rush-hour driver who has been sitting in a traffic jam for the last 90 minutes, more furious than Howard Hughes surrounded by pestering paparazzis, and more frustrated than a customer enquirer who has been waiting on the telephone for over an hour.
According to The Australian, the Auckland-based company is working with one of Australia’s big four banks, the aim being to make its employees better at understanding why customers get upset. Touchstone is investing $500,000 in the project.
Should we be creating an artificial intelligence made up of all of our worst traits?
A device containing data from hundreds of angry customers
The robot’s program will contain two years’ worth of customer calls to an Australian bank. The creators plan to be able to have a device that simulates hundreds of angry customer interactions. Staff will then practise with the device and improve their customer-relations skills.
The project is called Radiant, which may remind Asimov fans of Prime Radiant, a novel about a supercomputer (called ‘Radiant’) that made general predictions about the future behavior of very large groups of people.
Some may wonder why humans might need a machine to tell them why other humans behave in a certain way. Others, perhaps more accurately, may interpret this as another step to replace flesh and blood with chips and circuits.
The Australian quoted Mr. van de Velden, who said:
“The end goal is to build an engine that can recommend solutions to companies — and we’re talking about the people at the frontline here — how they can improve particular issues that customers are facing. This will be possible by enabling our AI engine to learn right across a whole range of interactions of what has and has not worked in past examples.”
“Companies don’t have the numbers of staff to go through this manually. It’s very difficult. Take a bank for example, they receive a hell of a lot of data every day. But it gets to a point where that dataset grows so large that it becomes meaningless unless you can interpret it. That’s where Radiant will fit in.”
Hawking warning becoming reality?
One wonders how the eminent British theoretical physicist, cosmologist, author Stephen Hawking might interpret this creation. Will he see it as the first step towards our eventual doom?
On many occasions, he has warned us that artificial intelligence, with its ability to upgrade and develop much faster than humans can through natural evolution, could spell the end of our civilization and perhaps our very survival as a species.
“The development of full artificial intelligence could spell the end of the human race,” Prof. Hawking once said.
Now, imagine an artificial intelligence that started off as an accumulation of the worst features in each of us, it then gets upgraded every couple of years, and eventually has the ability to do this on its own…