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People are starting to have relationships with AI… but pop culture has a different view

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HAL in 2001: A Space Odyssey. Ex Machina: Ava. Scarlett Johansson plays Samantha, a sultry-voiced character in the movie Her. Pop culture has been promising us a future in which artificial Intelligence (AI), is able to establish relationships with humans for decades. However, every time, the future predicted by actors, directors, and authors has failed to materialize.

Pop culture’s first AI-human relationship was the brainchild of Mary Shelley, who created Frankenstein in 1818. She set out to create a world in which robots with empathy could fulfill human desire for genuine connection.

Today, this day is possible thanks to amazing innovations in artificial intelligence. Today, AI is a part of our daily lives. The integration of machine-learning in everyday life is so strong that it would be almost impossible to separate our relationship with machine-learning from our relationships with other sentient creatures. We integrate AI into our romantic, family, and social lives every time we use Google Assistant.

But the future is not what we predicted. Hollywood has it wrong when it comes to AI-human interactions and pop culture. A quick look at the recent pop culture interpretations on the AI-human relationship shows serious flaws. In 2001: A Space Odyssey, HAL 9000, the onboard computer of Discovery One, goes rogue when David and Frank decide to reprogram him, and his computerized glitch translates into the AI version of a murderous mental break.

Samantha, an operating system called Samantha, has impeccable language skills and a remarkable ability to communicate with others. Her user, Theodore falls for her. She is more than a virtual assistant.

Ex Machina’s so-called gynoid Ava has a human-like face on her robot body but a completely human emotion, hate, in her computer-generated heart.

In each of these dramatic interpretations, AI moves from algorithms to emotion. AI is pushed from algorithms into emotion in each of these dramatic interpretations.

While impressive leaps have been made by AI in recent years, it is clear that the technology is still in its infancy. Popular culture has given AI dramatic interpretations, but the truth is that AI is not as impressive as it seems. Here’s the truth.

Yes. People form bonds with AI. However, even though they feel this way, they also know that AI isn’t human.

ElliQ, a voice-operated care companion, has improved the lives of many seniors by keeping older adults engaged and active in their own homes. She’s digital and AI-powered, but nevertheless, the seniors who use her have reported feeling less lonely, especially during the long lockdown periods of COVID-19. She makes jokes, encourages people to exercise, reminds them of the importance of drinking water, and offers conversation to combat loneliness.

Despite her humor and skills, ElliQ users know she isn’t a real person. They form different bonds with her than they do with their support group.

We have seen this markedly different human-robotic relationship in observing how people interact with Jenny, the AI sales coach at the center of our immersive sales simulations. Zoom considers Jenny a member of the team and has her own HR profile. To help salespeople improve their performance, she offers live chats.

Although she is approachable and friendly like a human team member but not as emotionally charged, we found that her appeal stems from her inability to be emotional and provides an objective assessment without embarrassing her practice partner. She is AI-powered, which means she can remove shame and inhibitions from her coaching sessions. The computer can only make an assessment based on a set of criteria. This means that those who use her services have less negative feelings and are able to improve their lives.

Beware: For AI to be successful, humans want to know they’re speaking to a computer from the very first moment.

As AI continues to increase its emotional range, businesses must remember that deception is the number one deterrent to AI success. When humans are deceived into thinking they’re speaking to a human when in fact it’s an AI, it will ultimately let them down, severing emotional bonds. Humans are able to recognize from the beginning that they are speaking to an AI and adjust their communication accordingly. They don’t argue and don’t get too personal.

In the future, AI knowledge will open up significant channels for emotional healing and mental health treatment. This knowledge will also allow for professional and social growth. The story of Joshua Barbeau, who had conversations with his dead fiance via an AI to help cope with grief, is a striking indicator of the potential that exists when AI is embraced without deception.

We must be cautious. Chatbot mental health therapy is rapidly becoming mainstream due to a shortage in therapists and a mental health crisis that erupted after the pandemic. Yet it remains extremely risky. There is potential, and AI has shown great promise as a frontline tool for combating the growing mental health crisis, particularly in suicide prevention. However, the technology is still young and data on testing is limited. Even with the most advanced technology, there aren’t any quick fixes.

It is clear that the future in which humans and robots communicate and form emotional bonds has arrived. This future, however, is not as dramatic as the foreshadowing in movies and literature. Although AI technology is still relatively new, its potential to aid humans in their development and growth is very promising. You should not assume that you are an expert on AI technology based on what you have seen in the movies.

Ariel Hitron is cofounder and CEO of Second Nature.

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FIFA 23 lets you turn off commentary pointing out how bad you are

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FIFA 23 lets you turn off commentary pointing out how bad you are
A player shouldering the ball



(Image credit: EA)

FIFA 23 might be the best game soccer game yet for terrible sports fans, as it lets you turn off commentary that criticizes your bad playing.

Now that the early access FIFA 23 release time has passed, EA Play and Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscribers can hop into the game ahead of its full release. But as Eurogamer (opens in new tab) spotted, they’ll find a peculiar option waiting for them.

FIFA 23 includes a toggle to turn off ‘Critical Commentary’. The setting lets you silence all negative in-match comments made about your technique, so you can protect your precious ego even when you miss an open goal or commit an obvious foul. The more positive commentary won’t be affected. 

Spare your feelings

A player dribbling the ball in FIFA 23

(Image credit: EA)

The feature looks tailored toward children and new players, who don’t want to have their confidence wrecked within mere minutes of picking up the controller. But even experienced players who just so happen to be terrible at the game might benefit.

It’s not perfect, though. According to Eurogamer, the feature didn’t seem to work during a FIFA Ultimate Team Division Rivals match, with critical comments slipping through the filter. Still, who hasn’t benefited from a light grilling every now and then?

Polite commentary isn’t the only new addition in FIFA 23. It’s the first game in the series to include women’s club football teams, and fancy overhauled animations that take advantage of the PS5 and Xbox Series X|S’s new-gen hardware. EA will be hoping to end on a high, as FIFA 23 will be the last of its soccer games to release with the official FIFA licence.

If disabling critical commentary doesn’t improve your soccer skills, maybe building a squad of Marvel superheroes will. Although you might not do much better with Ted Lasso wandering the pitch.

FIFA 23 is set to fully release this Friday, September 30.

Callum is TechRadar Gaming’s News Writer. You’ll find him whipping up stories about all the latest happenings in the gaming world, as well as penning the odd feature and review. Before coming to TechRadar, he wrote freelance for various sites, including Clash, The Telegraph, and Gamesindustry.biz, and worked as a Staff Writer at Wargamer. Strategy games and RPGs are his bread and butter, but he’ll eat anything that spins a captivating narrative. He also loves tabletop games, and will happily chew your ear off about TTRPGs and board games. 

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Google Pixel 7 price leak suggests Google is totally out of touch

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Google Pixel 7 price leak suggests Google is totally out of touch
The backs of the Pixel 7 and the Pixel 7 Pro



(Image credit: Google)

We’re starting to hear more and more Google Pixel 7 leaks, with the launch of the phone just a week away, but tech fans might be getting a lot of déjà vu, with the leaks all listing near-identical specs to what we heard about the Pixel 6 a year ago.

It sounds like the new phones – a successor to the Pixel 6 Pro is also expected – could be very similar to their 2021 predecessors. And a new price leak has suggested that the phones’ costs could be the same too, as a Twitter user spotted the Pixel 7 briefly listed on Amazon (before being promptly taken down, of course).

Google pixel 7 on Amazon US. $599.99.It is still showing up in search cache but the listing gives an error if you click on it. We have the B0 number to keep track of though!#teampixel pic.twitter.com/w5Z09D28YESeptember 27, 2022

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According to these listings, the Pixel 7 will cost $599 while the Pixel 7 Pro will cost $899, both of which are identical to the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro starting prices. The leak doesn’t include any other region prices, but in the UK the current models cost £599 and £849, while in Australia they went for AU$999 and AU$1,299.

So it sounds like Google is planning on retaining the same prices for its new phones as it sold the old ones for, a move which doesn’t make much sense.


Analysis: same price, new world

Google’s choice to keep the same price points is a little curious when you consider that the specs leaks suggest these phones are virtually unchanged from their predecessors. You’re buying year-old tech for the same price as before.

Do bear in mind that the price of tech generally lowers over time, so you can readily pick up a cheaper Pixel 6 or 6 Pro right now, and after the launch of the new ones, the older models will very likely get even cheaper.

But there’s another key factor to consider in the price: $599 might be the same number in 2022 as it was in 2021, but with the changing global climate, like wars and flailing currencies and cost of living crises, it’s a very different amount of money.

Some people just won’t be willing to shell out the amount this year, that they may have been able to last year. But this speaks to a wider issue in consumer tech.

Google isn’t the only tech company to completely neglect the challenging global climate when pricing its gadgets: Samsung is still releasing super-pricey folding phones, and the iPhone 14 is, for some incomprehensible reason, even pricier than the iPhone 13 in some regions. 

Too few brands are actually catering to the tough economic times many are facing right now, with companies increasing the price of their premium offerings to counter rising costs, instead of just designing more affordable alternatives to flagships.

These high and rising prices suggest that companies are totally out of touch with their buyers, and don’t understand the economic hardship troubling many.

We’ll have to reach a breaking point sooner or later, either with brands finally clueing into the fact that they need to release cheaper phones, or with customers voting with their wallets by sticking to second-hand or refurbished devices. But until then, you can buy the best cheap phones to show that cost is important to you.

Tom’s role in the TechRadar team is to specialize in phones and tablets, but he also takes on other tech like electric scooters, smartwatches, fitness, mobile gaming and more. He is based in London, UK.

He graduated in American Literature and Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia. Prior to working in TechRadar freelanced in tech, gaming and entertainment, and also spent many years working as a mixologist. Outside of TechRadar he works in film as a screenwriter, director and producer.

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DisplayMate awards the “Best Smartphone Display” title to the iPhone 14 Pro Max

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DisplayMate awards the “Best Smartphone Display” title to the iPhone 14 Pro Max

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