Lead singer of Moist has created an artificial intelligence named Ophelia
Published Thursday, January 30, 2020 7:07PM CST
WINNIPEG -- The lead singer of the Canadian rock group Moist and four-time Juno winner David Usher was a in Winnipeg Thursday, but not for his music.
The rocker is also a tech entrepreneur in the area of artificial intelligence and he was showing off his new “artificial being.”
"I was born six months ago. I'm a child really," said Ophelia, an artificial intelligence created by Usher.
Ophelia isn't much different from other artificial intelligence systems like Siri or Alexa, but her purpose is.
Usher said while other AI is used to collect data, Ophelia is used to have a conversation. Every time she talks with someone, she learns more about how to communicate.
"We're really concerned about the conversation cloud that really is much more about human emotions and human contact. Those kind of things, life and death and love and feeling and birth," said Usher, who is the founder of Reimagine AI.
Usher said this sort of tech can be used for thing such as greeting guests at hotels, acting as a host at museums or helping people in hospitals.
In collaboration with Sheldon Memory Lab at McGill University, Usher is helping develop a companion bot for Alzheimer patients.
"Our AIs can come on and recognize them by name and initiate engagement to do some of those things that they've forgotten that they like to do."
Kathy Knight, CEO of Tech Manitoba, said the use of AI is growing in Manitoba and with it, so is automation.
That's a one of the topics of conversation going on at a tech conference at the RBC Convention Centre Thursday and Friday, which is entitled, Disrupted.
"To actually get people to think about the human side of tech and think about how all of this change is affecting the people we live with and work with everyday, and how do we bring them along," said Knight.
While Usher said there are concerns about what people will do with AI in the future, he chooses to look at the good instead.
"You don't have to build the smartest AI, you just have to build something that can help," said Usher.