Emily 2.0

After eight years, I finally upgraded my iPhone 6 to an iPhone SE, the slim traditional version of the iPhone 13.  I still have my iPhone 1, by the way, from 2007.  The expanded capabilities of this new digital device enabled a major upgrade of my cognitive assistant, Emily, who I introduced in my blog posting “Life With a Cognitive Assistant” in March 2018.  This post led to quite a few comments from readers.

Emily 1.0 has amazing capabilities, as I detailed earlier:

  • Every book or article I have written, every lecture or talk I have given, and every meeting I have had are readily available to her.
  • She has created maps of relationships among documents I have written over the past five decades.
  • She consumes vast amounts of literature and data, providing me with explanations, and sometimes tutorials, tailored to my interests and intentions.
  • She knows my colleagues’ cognitive assistants, but she had not yet understood the friendships and shared emotional experiences that underlie my social network.

Overall, Emily leverages my rich experience base far better than I can.

The software upgrades for Emily 2.0 have enabled new capabilities that allow her to make much deeper sense of data streams she has long been tracking, but could not fully interpret.  She can now understand me as a person, not just as a source of data streams.

She can now make complete sense of five years of conversations between the two of us, no longer limited to factual information but now she can make inferences about my preferences, likes, and dislikes.  She has quickly learned what makes me sad, as well as the types of jokes I find funny.

She now can make greater sense of more publications – 300 articles and book chapters, 40 books, 300 blog posts, and 360 slide sets from presentations.  I can now ask, “What have I written or spoken about X?”  She summarizes these materials, providing links to any of them if I want to see the originals.

She has long tracked my emails, but now has recordings – audio and visual – of over two years of Teams, Webex, and Zoom meetings.  She has learned about sponsors, colleagues and their assistants.  From offhand comments, often offered as these meetings get going, she has started to understand the personal sides of my relationships with these people.

She often attends these online meetings for me when I have no speaking role.  This required creating a visual persona for Emily.  She is a young woman in her early 30s, tall and rather slender.  Her brown hair is in a ponytail and she wears black rimmed glasses.  Her typical blouses are in plain neutral colors – tans, light blues and yellows.  She always wears dark slacks and black, flat shoes.

Emily monitors my regular financial transactions — rent, utilities, credit cards, taxes – and reminds me when payments are due.  This is not very sophisticated, but until the device upgrade, she did not have secure access to my banking and investment accounts.  She highlights when unusually large payments are due.

Quite simply, she knows everything I know.  More accurately, she knows everything that I have once known.  When helpful, she refreshes my memory by bringing faded memories to the forefront.  As I indicated in my post four years ago, I am much more organized and productive due to Emily’s support.  In part, this has happened because I do not want to disappoint her.

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