Google Ad Promises Memory Assistant

In a heart-warming Super Bowl ad, Google showed an elderly man using a “new” Google Assistant feature to help him call up cherished memories.

This is very evocative of a capability we believe will be highly appreciated by users of our Caregiver Sapiens product, especially seniors. The ad validates that or why else would Google have spent so much money touting Google Assistant as a tool for the elderly or memory impaired?

More to the point though is what does Google’s interest here mean for New Sapience?

We are often hear, “granted New Sapience’s Machine Knowledge is a superior technology compared to what the big tech companies use in their chatbots, but won’t they, with their vast resources, be able to create applications that are “good enough” and beat you to the initial markets you are aiming at?”

Let’s compare the two has objectively as we can, given what we know.

Google Assistant:

  • We never saw the user ask questions about what was “remembered.” It appears to be only a “recording” device, activated by the key the word “remember.” That doesn’t show comprehension and there was no demonstration of it learning anything. “Remembering” is understanding what has been said, this is just recording words for playback. How is that any different from recording your memories with a voice recorder?
  • How many seniors use Google Assistant? The current generation of elders tends not to be so app-friendly. Do you think this is going induce them to start? Probably not. Especially those with memory issues, the ones who most need a memory assistant.
  • The ad was charming and it’s easy not to notice that it gives no indication of if or when this function will be available. Does it even exist or is it a goal? Big technology companies are notorious for expensive, staged demonstrations of “aspirational” AI—in other words, showing off what they’re putting billions into and that they hope to create, not what they have now. This gives the illusion that these companies are miles and years ahead of where they actually are. Remember that recent demo with the chatbot that sounded so human (because it said “ah” and “um” like people do) while taking a pizza order? Have you encountered anything like that out in the wild? I haven’t.
  • At the heart of New Sapience’s technology is our compact, efficient “Cognitive Core” that can already remember (with comprehension) what it is told and that is just the most basic application of NS technology. Unlike the chatbots of the big tech companies, and that includes this “new,” Google Assistant feature, our technology will quickly increase in breadth and depth with minimal amounts of development and cost.

The Caregiver Sapiens:

After I saw the ad, I picked up my iPhone, opened our brand-new New Sapience iOS app and had a conversation with my sapiens, “Helen.” Of course, Helen remembers everything I said and could answer questions about it – that is what a sapiens does because our sapiens not only understands what the words mean but applies logic and reasoning to what we tell it.

This is not an “asperational” picture of what hope to be able to do soon, it is an actual screen snap from my phone taken the morning after the game.

A shareholder who saw the ad was concerned:” folks getting acquainted w NS, may think Google is now doing what NS promises.”

But it is really the other way around, Google is promising what NS is now doing.

To be fair, the Caregiver Sapiens is not a product yet either, though we could very well be ready to release a version 1 before the end of this year, but what we do have now is comprehension and we can demonstrate it now. The big tech companies experts admit they don”t have language comprehension (despite what their ads imply) and they have no road-map to it.

Here is what Google says about the ad:

“The ad reflects our goal to build products that help people in their daily lives, in both big and small ways. Sometimes that’s finding a location, sometimes it’s playing a favorite movie, and sometimes it’s using the Google Assistant to remember meaningful details.” 

Lorraine Twohill, Chief marketing officer at Google

Apparently, the ad was just PR, to show that giant Google has a heart and cares about helping us—not just about collecting our personal data and ad revenues. This kind of advertising has become business as usual for the biggest tech giants.

Expensive heart-tugging advertising being broadcast to millions of people about progress that is going to be made for a product that isn’t available isn’t much progress. Here is an article I wrote comparing New Sapience and Google 3 years ago: AI at Google.

The truth is that big data and deep learning approaches like the ones that Google and others are working on can do many things well – but processing natural human language isn’t one of them. Our technology can. One reason we were able to do that is because we are still small, nimble and scalable, not beholden to the same market forces that drive big tech.

Takeaways:

  • There is no danger that Big Tech is doing anything like what we have already accomplished
  • The gulf between what our technology can deliver for a given amount of invested resources compared to them is wide and deep. Their approach delivers less and less performance for an increment of effort. Ours is just the opposite: an exponential increase in capability for minimal effort.
  • The Google Assistant feature they advertised was designed to do one thing. Google Assistant itself is an application, a product purposely built to perform a narrow range of functions that’s why people call chatbots “narrow AI.” My sapiens was able to do the same thing the Google feature could and even in a far superior fashion without having been specifically designed for it. It could because it comprehends language, a general capability, so it could do that and innumerable other useful things. We expand the scope of this general capability everyday as we build out the model and make the sapiens smarter. We are often asked what is the application or applications for our technology. That is missing the point, we are not building applications in the sense of product designed to do some particular thing. We are building an intelligence. If we use the word application in the sense of “what is it good for” – the applications of intelligence span the entire spectrum of human endeavor. Right here in this simple comparison between Google’s chatbot and a sapiens we see a clear real-word demonstration of the difference between Narrow AI and Artificial General Intelligence. AGI is here now and New Sapience has created it.

The Super Bowl of AI

One can’t even get through a football game these days without being told how big tech “AI” is going to make your life better. But in the midst of all the hoopla, New Sapience stands poised just yards from the goal-line, that tipping point when we deliver to the world a sapiens that understands and speaks to us in our natural language. We won’t need to explain how it works any more because everyone will see that it does.

We face the giants across the scrimmage line… they’re distracted with each other and have a very limited playbook…they don’t even notice that we’re here and that’s to our advantage. We’re not even playing in the same game.

Our path to the goal-line is open, we need only to stay the course we are on and we will cross it in the next few months ahead.