Why AI Assistants Will Be in Every Pocket Within Five Years

KEY TAKEAWAYS

In the near future, we'll observe a profound shift in how we engage with technology, marked by the seamless integration of AI assistants into common devices such as smartphones and wearables. Over the next five years, you can expect these AI companions to firmly establish themselves as indispensable components of our everyday lives.

Pause in your day for a second and quickly think about the (virtual) landscape we are in today.

Less than a year ago, we did not have ChatGPT (or Google Bard, if that’s your flavor), always a click away from providing thoughtful, reasoned, and researched answers to almost anything you want to ask them.

They exist somewhere between work tools and novelties, but we are still in Year 0 of (widely available) artificial intelligence (AI), and Year 5 is likely to look vastly different.

Looking ahead, an AI personal digital assistant in your pocket is more than likely by the year 2028. That’s the relatively non-controversial thought of Mustafa Suleyman, the co-founder of Google’s AI division DeepMind.

The way I see it is that in 5 years, everybody is gonna have their own ‘chief of staff’,” he said.

“It will be able to reason over your day, help you prioritize your time, help you invent, be much more creative … It will be a research assistant, but it will also be a coach and companion.”

AI Assistants: Analyzing Suleyman’s Predictions

Many of us are fairly used to Alexa, Siri, and Google Home. Right now, they are helpful – what’s the weather, turn on the lights, play music – but chatbots (using them as the widespread example of AI) open up the imagination of what they could be.

Give them access to sensors in your home, and rather than issue “Turn on the lights” commands, you can have a nuanced dialogue with your house and work together to plan and improve your life.

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Do others agree with Suleyman’s prediction?

Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the web, seems cautious but accepting of an AI-enabled future.

In CNBC’s Beyond the Valley Podcast, he calls privacy a significant concern, with individuals currently having little control over their data from large corporations.

Berners-Lee looks for a world where data is stored in self-custodial pods and individuals grant permission to use their data selectively – be it reading preferences, food habits, office timings, or health information. In this world, AI assistants can have a role, and offer assistance and enrich your life based on your permission.

Microsoft co- Bill Gates, at the I Forward 2023 event in San Francisco, said that while we have personal digital assistants in the form of Alexa, Siri, and Google Home, AI assistants will not only play a more significant role in our lives but also significantly impact internet searches — the next generation of AI will probably replace established and ubiquitous search engines like Google.

The Bottom Line

Data is the most premium currency in the world, with all the large corporations coveting it. Concerns about security and privacy will remain.

From the perspective of comfort and convenience, AI assistants will likely bring unprecedented changes, and the unlocked technology is possibly just a few years away from being in our pockets and in our lives.

Siri is now 12 years old, launching with the iPhone 4S. Odds are, the world and our daily routines will change much faster in the run-up to 2035.

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Kaushik Pal
Technology writer

Kaushik is a technical architect and software consultant with over 23 years of experience in software analysis, development, architecture, design, testing and training. He has an interest in new technologies and areas of innovation. He focuses on web architecture, web technologies, Java/J2EE, open source software, WebRTC, big data and semantic technologies. He has demonstrated expertise in requirements analysis, architectural design and implementation, technical use cases and software development. His experience has covered various industries such as insurance, banking, airlines, shipping, document management and product development, etc. He has worked on a wide range of technologies ranging from large scale (IBM…