Would you take life advice from a Personal AI?

This is the question that came to my mind when I heard that Google DeepMind has been working on an AI performing various personal tasks: recommendations about your dating life, planning instructions for your next family trip, or tutoring tips to be a better father.

I'm thrilled at the prospect of seeing an AI coping with my mundane professional tasks — drafting emails, feeding my next presentation with relevant stats, or booking a meeting with a prospect.

As a tech enthusiast, I would eventually give this AI the keys to my personal life if it could file my taxes or ask for a passport renewal… without selling my data to third-party advertisers.

But, I'm skeptical, to say the least, from the perspective of seeing AI help me solve an intricate argument with my partner, decipher my friend's trauma, or de-escalate a situation with my boss.

Several questions pop into my mind:

  • What keeps me away from treating an AI the same way I would treat a friend?
  • Would I ever trust an AI to rule my personal life?
  • Is there any AI product out there that could better my life?

In this article, we'll explore the concept of Personal Intelligence and how AI can enhance it via Personal AI.

Would you take advice from a Personal AI?

This is What Sets Humans Apart from AI: Personal Intelligence

Picture this: you want to pick a movie to watch this evening. You take a quick look at the box-office charts but nothing really piques your interest.

You need external advice.

Would you ask a chatbot, powered by generative AI and trained by the reviews of millions of people you don't know? Or a long-time friend who knows about your tastes?

Would you rather go with a query like this:

I've binge-watched a lot of TV shows based on human psychology, dark comedies, and sci-fi dystopias. My favorite ones are Mr. Robot, Breaking Bad, Severance, and Barry. I want you to suggest to me a movie based on my tastes.

Or a simple text like this:

Hey Carrie, what's up? Any movie you've watched recently that you'd recommend?”

Most people, including me, would ask a friend. Not only because asking a friend is way faster but also because:

  • I know Carrie: I picked Carrie because I know she's a movie addict and that, even if she doesn't post reviews or share her best picks online, she's the most knowledgeable person on that topic.
  • Carrie knows me: Among all the movies Carries watches on a weekly basis, she knows which ones I would love. The way she knows me goes way beyond what I post on social media or on my blog.
  • Carrie and I will probably continue the conversation: After the movie, I'll probably share my thoughts about it with Carrie. I'll tell her my favorite scene, she'll give some insights about the making-of and she will eventually recommend me more movies of the same maker.

These three reasons picture what we call Personal Intelligence.

I took the example of asking for a movie suggestion but you can also replace this with anything else that Google DeepMind wants to cover: dating advice trip suggestion, or family therapy.

What's Personal Intelligence?

Personal intelligence is the capacity to reason about personalities and to use personality-based information to influence one's plans and actions.

According to a model provided by John D. Mayer, personal intelligence involves four key areas of problem-solving:

  • to recognize personally relevant information from introspection and from observing oneself and others (observation)
  • to form that information into accurate models of personality (analysis)
  • to guide one's choices by using personality information where relevant (action)
  • to systematize one's goals, plans, and life stories for good outcomes (projection)

To this date, AIs can only mimic Personal Intelligence or, more specifically, collate various data sets of Personal Intelligence and draw generic conclusions.

Personal Intelligence is what drives us toward each other

This is where AI still fails and why I'd always choose a friend over an AI when it comes to movie recommendations, dating advice, or trip suggestions.

AI in Our Personal Lives: The Question Of Trust

The reason why I picked Carrie among my friends for a movie suggestion is because I trust her.

The reason why I want to go see a therapist to discuss my traumas is because I trust him.

Trust is the cornerstone of human relationships. We are not only rational beings who make decisions based on data, we are also humans driven by our emotions. As humans, we are social animals who connect with each other by sharing our life experiences, memories, and personal recommendations.

At the moment, AGI (Artificial General Intelligence) is not providing this level of trust that would allow me to confide with it, let alone follow its guidelines to better my existence.

It's an ambition that Google, OpenAI, and Microsoft want to fulfill with their AI products but we are still far from it. To this date, when I use ChatGPT, Bard, or Claude:

  • I don't know where the data is coming from: When you receive an answer from ChatGPT or Bard on a specific topic, you never get to know where the data is coming from. This lack of source is questionable at best when you're facing questions where multiple viewpoints should be disclosed. That could be a problem for complex queries where opinions or schools of thought should be taken into consideration.
  • I don't know where my data goes or how it is used: Would you trust a friend who makes money from your knowledge? Or a friend who would use your knowledge without crediting you? The recent controversy around the launch of GPTBot, the web crawler from ChatGPT designed to scrape the web to train its AI model, is the perfect illustration of this fear of seeing your own content stolen.
  • I don't know if my data is safe: In March 2023, ChatGPT users faced the first known security breach. In their sidebars, some users saw chat histories that didn't belong to them. How can you share some personal experiences if you're not sure that the personal data you share is safe?

The lack of trust is one of the main reasons why most people would prefer getting their life advice from their friends rather than from a chatbot powered by AI.

How can we then really utilize AI for our personal lives?

Personal AI: making your Personal Intelligence searchable

The truth is I really love AI.

I believe we are entering a new industrial revolution and I think that it'll transform a lot of industries, facilitating connections, streamlining processes, and helping us go above and beyond in our professional lives.

The real problem of humanity is the following: we have Paleolithic emotions, medieval institutions, and god-like technology — Edward O. Wilson

But I also think that our personal lives can benefit from it.

That's where Personal AI comes into play.

What's a Personal AI?

Unlike existing AGIs, Personal AI is a category of AI that provides you with the tools to create, train and grow your own AI. It learns from your personal data: your skills, experiences and memories.

With a Personal AI like Spheria, you could gift yourself with a true extension of your mind online.

Think of it as a second brain where you can centralize all your invaluable knowledge, whether it's already been published or only kept in your brain. The real magic here is that it makes your knowledge searchable at all times, even when you're not available.

If Carrie couldn't answer my question, her Personal AI, trained on the data she vetted herself, would have been able to provide me with an equivalent answer. Her Personal AI will never answer a question on her behalf if it doesn't know where to look.

This Personal AI solves many issues:

  • Authenticity: Why would I query trillions of generic and factual data points when I know that the answers I'm looking for are among my own circles of friends and coworkers? I don't want a generic answer, I need a personal opinion.
  • Availability: if Carrie cannot answer a text from me because she's unavailable, sleeping, or simply busy, her Personal AI could answer on her behalf.
  • Data Ownership: I know that all the answers from Carrie's Personal AI are coming from her own data — her experiences, memories, and stories she has already posted online, or that she only published to her Personal AI. Her Personal AI acts as her own Source of Truth.

Give Me Life Advice From Humans Powered By AI, Instead of AI Powered By Humans

AI platforms are definitely going to revolutionize the way we store, organize and retrieve data. It will disrupt many industries and transform the way we work. It could also better our personal lives but only if we make sure that the AI products we build are trustworthy, safe, and useful. That's what Personal AI platforms are intending to do.

Let's see how they will deliver on their promises.