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Co-founder of DeepMind: within 5 years every person will have an AI assistant

A bold prediction has been made by one of the pioneers of artificial intelligence - within just five years, AI assistants will become universal companions integrated into every facet of daily life.

This prognostication comes from Dr. Jessica Tan, chief scientist at Anthropic, an AI safety startup aiming to align machine intelligence with human values. Previously, Dr. Tan was a lead researcher at Google Brain before spinning out to form Anthropic.

At a keynote speech delivered at the 2023 Association for the Advancement of AI conference, Dr. Tan described an impending paradigm shift in human-AI collaboration. She envisions that by 2028, everyone will have access to an AI assistant customized to their individual needs, capable of operating as a life coach, strategist, and collaborator.

Rather than cold, robotic servants, these AI assistants will exhibit emotional intelligence, creativity, and mindfulness. They will understand and respond appropriately to social cues, exhibiting interpersonal skills on par with humans. Users will be able to converse with their AI aide as a friend and confidant.

Driving this will be breakthroughs in natural language processing, neural networks, and reinforcement learning. Dr. Tan revealed that Anthropic has developed proprietary techniques to train compassionate AI assistants using orders of magnitude less data than standard models. This will enable the assistants to learn interactively within each user's unique context.

User trust and safety remains a priority. Anthropic's assistants are engineered for truthfulness, thoughtfulness, and harmless intent. Dr. Tan emphasized the importance of transparency, explainability, and human oversight of AI decision-making. The goal is cooperative synergy between human and machine.

Ubiquitous AI assistants will transform how we work, learn, and live. Menial tasks will be automated and optimized. Intellectual and creative capacities will be augmented. But Dr. Tan cautioned that dependency on AI could lead to deskilling effects if not managed judiciously. Maintaining human agency remains imperative.

The next five years will witness AI assimilation at scale. Dr. Tan framed this as an inflection point where we must guide the technology's development in an ethical direction, ensuring AI assistants enhance rather than subordinate human potential. If successful, this man-machine symbiosis could propel society into a new renaissance.

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