Do you like to watch cartoons, superhero or supervillain movies? Do you read comic books?
Have you ever wondered how those fantastic characters manage to build their super weapons, invent their super machines or crazy chemicals in such short time? And how they manage at all since it’s only them, mostly a single fed up individual who has a grudge at the world?
What is a minion then? Wikipedia says: “A minion is a follower devoted to serving his master relentlessly”. So, all those brainy characters have a lot of tiny, often not very smart followers who do their deeds. They have an army of workers who don’t demand much but are very able-handed. They carve out caves for their master’s lair, they build rockets and weapons. In short, they extend the reach of their master by following his ingenious plans and making them a reality in very short time. And the more minions there are the more fantastic is what they can build in a short time.
So, what does that mean for us? After all slavery has been abolished a long time ago and we don’t really want to go back to those times when some humans were worth more than others. Also, animals are just not going to cut it. They have no hands, except for monkeys maybe, but then again, would you really trust a monkey to build your rocket ship even if you give it the plans? I didn’t think so…
So, the only possible solution is to finally use all the knowledge of computers and AI to finally transform those TOOLS into MINIONS. So, instead of having to tell them every single step which they can then do very fast (like render a video, print something, do some calculations) we need to employ all those algorithms to be proactive and helpful.
It’s nice to have a calendar application which reminds me of upcoming events but it’s just still too clumsy. I still have to tell it when to remind me and that I want to be reminded at all. And if I then dismiss the reminder my calendar is just accepting it quietly and I can still miss my appointment, my plane, my date. Instead, we need to make those applications proactive. Let the calendar know more about my life, like where I am during the day (gps is in every phone nowadays so why not collect this data for personal use), let it know what I’m wearing and when, let it know what I’m reading, what I’m eating and so on. We’ll have to find ways of course to collect this data effortlessly. Position collecting is within reach but how about what I’m eating and what I’m reading? I certainly don’t want to type it into some application.
Once we have this data, there’s a real chance for a digital assistant. If it knows what I know then it can make suggestions based on previous experience and preferences. So if my assistant knows that I usually leave for work at 7:30 then why doesn’t it know that it should wake me up automatically when this time comes close. It knows how long I need for breakfast and maybe on which days I’m having it. It can tell me that my bus is leaving in 15 minutes and I will just not make it, give me alternatives (so when the next bus comes).
In conclusion, let me finish by demanding MINIONS, for everybody. Everybody should have their own and lots of them for every small task there is and finally the computers will evolve from tools to assistants. What a beautiful future awaits us!