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We've been talking a lot about artificial intelligence (AI) over the past few weeks.
About how the big brains at Google's DeepMind AI system say they may have developed a memory system they're calling a "differentiable neural computer" (DNC) and possibly unlocked the path to truly intelligent deep learning.
About how many of Facebook Messenger's 1 billion users are using AI-enhanced "chatbots" for their customer-service needs – chatbots that may soon be handling bill paying, shopping, delivery, and a range of other tasks.
And that's not even considering the existential threat that, due to AI and automation, hangs over so many of our livelihoods…
But there's a "lighter side" to this Singularity Era technology, too.
I'm talking about "Cozmo" – a $179 toy that's one of the hottest sellers this holiday season – and selling out at toy and big-box stores across the nation. Maybe you've picked one up as a Christmas present for one of your children or grandkids.
This cute little robot – made by Anki out of San Francisco – is generating a lot of buzz for being one of the first AI-loaded toys to hit the market.
We see and hear a lot about AI. But Cozmo demonstrates just some of the things that are possible when a device comes equipped with artificial intelligence.
Eventually, AI devices and vehicles will be able to do all sorts of things for us. It'll lead to driverless cars, employee-free convenience stores and fast-food restaurants, and so much more.
But meanwhile, check out this video that my colleague William Patalon III – Executive Editor at Money Morning – shared with me earlier this week.
When Bill's son, Joey, started talking about what he wanted for his 10th birthday, there was only one thing on his list.
You guessed it: a robot pet named Cozmo.
On Nov. 26 – his birthday – Joey got his wish.
Bill tells me that Cozmo is an ideal digital playmate. The robot has an endearing OLED face and can display emotions ranging from joy to pique, usually after losing a game to Joey. With the special flashing blocks Cozmo comes with, it can play games and even display a bit of mischief.
And because of its AI capabilities, Cozmo's personality evolves the more you engage him. It can even recognize faces. As you'll see in the video, Cozmo is activated and recognizes Joey in an exultation of machine-learned joy.
Bill says that when Joey plays with Cozmo he can see the joy.
In the video, I can see how far AI has come. I can also see hints of the promise it holds.
Happy holidays to all. Enjoy the rest of your weekend.
About the Author
Michael A. Robinson is one of the top financial analysts working today. His book "Overdrawn: The Bailout of American Savings" was a prescient look at the anatomy of the nation's S&L crisis, long before the word "bailout" became part of our daily lexicon. He's a Pulitzer Prize-nominated writer and reporter, lauded by the Columbia Journalism Review for his aggressive style. His 30-year track record as a leading tech analyst has garnered him rave reviews, too. Today he is the editor of the monthly tech investing newsletter Nova-X Report as well as Radical Technology Profits, where he covers truly radical technologies – ones that have the power to sweep across the globe and change the very fabric of our lives – and profit opportunities they give rise to. He also explores "what's next" in the tech investing world at Strategic Tech Investor.