Civilization of bots


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2025 the market will consist of a huge number of Narrow AIs, aka bots – as long as there is no General AI. These bots will fulfill every single customer need. They will act autonomously, interact with each other and replicate themselves. In the future this will lead to a civilization of bots.

In our study Customer Dialogue 2025 we have found that in the next few years we will see a wide variety of narrow AIs that are specialized for isolated areas – from mobility agents and health coaches to financial manager, socializers, and gatekeepers. These bots will accompany us every day – as Siri is already doing it today. They will record our habits, daily routines, preferances, emotions, and, last but not least, our decision-making criteria. Based on this knowledge they will fulfill diverse roles for us. They will provide information, give advice, and help manage our affairs.

Bots will act autonomously

As the capability of artificial intelligence progresses, intelligent bots will take over more and more tasks for customers. Customers can decide themselves when they want to take part in the bots’ decisions and actions on their behalf. At first, the majority of customers will still monitor the bots’ decisions. However, as soon as customers notice that a bot is actually acting according to their wishes, their need to monitor its work will decrease. In the end, customers will only see the result of the intelligent bots’ actions and will want to receive as little information as possible. Bots will make their own decisions – naturally in the customer’s interest. In the end bots will act autonomously.

Bots will be consumers, customers, producers, and first-class citizens

As soon as bots begin to act autonomously they will buy products and services on behalf of the customer’s needs. They will order food or manage finances. Bots will look for new shoes, compare them, and select from these. In the end bots will consume advertisment. They will be consumers and customers.

In business context bots will be producers. The use of artificial intelligence will enable companies to obtain new insights when analyzing customer data. In 2025, unsupervised learning in particular will identify patterns which humans are not capable of seeing. Due to the intelligent analysis of data, new product ideas will be developed in the future. This development is largely driven by the customers themselves. In the future, they will increasingly be accustomed to receiving products that match their individual needs. This customer demand for personalization will drive the need for companies to analyze data. 1

I listened to Pegor Papazian, the founder of Bazillion Beings at the 2b AHEAD Future Congress, in 2017. That was the first time I met someone who spoke about autonomous programs as a new form of life. He is working on independent online life forms (lifos). Lifos are artificially intelligent entities that offer services to their users. They curate online content, offer weekly or daily digests, play multiplayer games, shop and hang out. 

Bots can talk to each other via APIs

In the future, those bots will not only be powerful, but also capable of communicating with each other. This means that the company’s bot will interact with the customer’s bot. They will negotiate – about product configurations, price, or useful lifespan. Bot-to-bot communication will replace the majority of the communication between companies and customers while increasing efficiency at the same time. 3

“Bots will enable new industries – providing and buying services from each other. Bots will have their own economy – they’ll negotiate and transact with each other. Bots will have their own civilization – bots will be able to self-replicate or create other bots. Of course, bots will interact very closely with humans as they go about these activities.” Beerud Sheth, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Gupshup

Bots will replicate themselves

Last but not least, AI will be able to replicate itself. More precisely AutoML by Google Brain AI is already able to replicate itself. AutoML is designed to help firms to create their own AI. AutoML is a machine learning software that creates other AIs for specific tasks via reinforcement learning. One of these children is called NASNet, which can identify and categorize physical objects, and constantly learns more things entirely without human input. AutoML has built more powerful AI software than the best human-designed system. “Google says the system recently scored a record 82 percent at categorizing images by their content. On the harder task of marking the location of multiple objects in an image, an important task for augmented reality and autonomous robots, the auto-generated system scored 43 percent. The best human-built system scored 39 percent.” 4

From my perspective, these are the first steps towards the actual self-replication of AI. Of course AutoML creates machine learning systems within human-defined frameworks and goals, but what happens if there is an AGI? Is an AGI able to empower itself? 

The Birth of a Civilization of Bots

Bots will act autonomously. They will have different roles. They will communicate with each other and replicate themselves. For me these are different steps towards a new form of civilization – a civilization of bots. What would such a society look like? What would its objectives be? From my point of view we should stop discriminating against AI and get ready for a new kind of civilization. 😉



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