Meet Amy Ingram, the robot people have been sending flowers and chocolates...

Meet Amy Ingram, the robot people have been sending flowers and chocolates to

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Photo by Wikimedia

Who is Amy Ingram? She is Dennis Mortensen’s – CEO of x.ai – personal assistant. Nothing seems out of the ordinary with that, right? She schedules meetings, sends emails, and is extremely good at what she does. So good that people even send her flowers and chocolates, and ask about her at the office.

But everybody is surprised to find out that she is in fact a robot, more precisely a virtual personal assistant. And her initials even hints to that for those who take a while to think about it: AI – artificial intelligence.

x.ai, the company run by Dennis Mortensen, has been working for two years to develop and test Amy and her partner Andrew to handle setting up meetings.

Amy can now set up a meeting in 1.8 days, as opposed to 2.2 days for human assistants. Because the results are so promising, the company is working on making the service available for the public later this year. By the time this happens, Amy, who only works with a Google calendar, will be able to work with all the major calendaring platforms, from Outlook to Exchange Servers.

But why are so many people fooled by her humanity? This is mainly thanks to Anna Kelsey, the company’s AI interaction designer, who works to make Amy a convincing human.

However, her identity was never meant to be a secret. In fact, she ends every email with the signature:

Amy Ingram | Personal Assistant to [user’s name]
An artificially intelligent assistant that schedules meetings by x.ai

Somehow, many people find themselves charmed by Amy’s attitude and they feel they have to reciprocate. Even Mortensen finds himself writing emails to her as if she would be a real person. And he is not the only one – people send her emails unrelated to scheduling in which they only want to thank her for her help.

Someone even invited her for a drink, to which she cleverly responded: “Because I’m an artificial intelligent personal assistant, I’m unable to join you in person. Have a good meeting!”

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Caroline Parker has a Bachelor of Arts degree in American Studies from the University of Bucharest. She is currently pursuing a master's degree in the same field. She specializes in gender issues, ethnic minorities, and has a passion for literature, but she loves to find out more about any subject she comes across. When she is not busy with her studies, she is attending conferences, seeing plays which deal with contemporary issues in society, traveling, taking photos for her Instagram account, and watching beauty related vlogs. She aims to become a published writer and to pursue a Ph.D. is the field of gender studies.

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