The year is 2030. AI has developed faster than anyone could have imagined, and it is now the central driver of our lives.
It’s 9 a.m. You wake up in a frenzied state, having missed the alarm your AI assistant set for you and, more importantly, your 8 a.m. online work meeting.
“Not to worry, sir, I attended the meeting in your place, as you,” your AI assistant (Aida) reminds you in a soothing voice over the speakers in your bedroom.
A replay begins. “Good morning, Mr. Salenger. Yes, the department is running smoothly,” Aida says, using your voice. You know it’s synthetically modulated thanks to deepfake technology, but it never fails to be a bit unnerving.
“Cut that out,” you say.
“Yes, sir,” Aida says, returning to her normal voice. “I’ve sent you a summary of the meeting in an email and taken the liberty of proposing a new project to your boss, based on the document you’ve been working on for the past month.”
You nod and begin to wonder why your company still holds meetings.
“Based on your sleep last night and your current glucose levels measured by your smartwatch, I’ve ordered you a black coffee and oatmeal for breakfast. ETA: ten minutes.”
You nod again and head to the bathroom.
The oatmeal is dry and the coffee bitter, a far cry from the bacon and eggs you’ve been daydreaming about. You ask yourself, for the umpteenth time, if Aida really does know what’s best for you—but you decide not to question its choices, for now.
You arrive at work early, with Aida having calculated and driven the fastest route. Like everyone else at the company, you slide in a single wireless earbud and proceed to your office. There’s a dim chatter in the air as employees quietly speak to their own AI assistants.
“You have another proposal to work on that’s due Friday, a meeting with your boss at 1 p.m., and a budget that needs to be sorted out by the end of the day,” Aida says in your ear. Again, you silently nod, having given up trying to speak directly to your AI unless absolutely necessary.
You sit down at your desk, facing the thin screen in front of you, and type:
Pull up file Proposal.docx. Re-write intro to be more professional and limit it to 800 words. Include bullet points in the second graf. Add section below bullet points to reflect our commitment to client #2—use a concise and polite tone.
Within a matter of seconds, you watch as the AI writer flies through the document, making your requested changes.
“Send to Mr. Salenger,” you say to Aida. You’ve given up checking if what the AI writes is accurate—these days, it almost never makes mistakes. The earbud makes a soft ping sound to indicate the command has been followed.
“Pull up Creator program,” you say, and watch as the app opens on your computer with nothing more than an empty command line.
Create 6 logo options, 3 abstract and 3 based on things from real life. Include the word “Building.” Minimalist style. Choose an ideal color palette.
You press Enter and watch as six logos show up on the screen.
“Send #2, #4, and #5 to the art department for review,” you say. Again, the earbud pings softly.
You lean back in your chair. You’ve been at work for no more than ten minutes, and besides the three minutes it will take to have an AI program re-draft and analyze the budget, along with the meeting with your boss, which Aida could again fill in for, you’re done for the day. Aida will drive you home, and dinner will be waiting for you. A movie will be queued up on your TV, and your alarm will be set. Your days are calculated and planned, and your work, if you can call it that, requires nothing more than a few prompts into an awaiting command terminal.
“I’ve set a date for you on Saturday,” Aida says. “She is a 94% match, and she thinks you’re funny.”
You don’t need to ask how she knows that—Aida has been messaging potential dates for the past few months. None have worked out, and you wonder if the problem is you or Aida.
Life with AI would be easier, they said. “Simplicity at the touch of a button” was how it was marketed, and we bought into it. From personal assistants and AI writers to efficiency programs with built-in, real-time analytics, AI is here to stay. We still have ownership over our lives and the choices we make, simply assisted by AI. Or perhaps it’s merely the idea that we’re the ones in control — isn’t that what AI would want us to believe?
All opinions expressed in this piece are the writer’s own and do not represent the views of KrASIA. Questions, concerns, or fun facts can be sent to [email protected].