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The Next Hot Job in Silicon Valley Is For Poets


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A poet at work.

Silicon Valley is seeking poets, writers, comedians, and other artistic people to help humanize the personalities of artificial intelligence tools.

Credit: AcadmicHelp.net

Demand for chatting virtual assistants and other artificial intelligence (AI) products is creating favorable job prospects for writers, poets, comedians, and other people of artistic persuasion in Silicon Valley.

The industry is tapping them to engineer the personalities of AI tools to make them capable of seamless interaction with people.

AI writers are tasked with imbuing the AIs with natural-seeming conversational capabilities.

Writers for virtual assistants must typically concoct a backstory for these assistants, and inject personality quirks into even the most mundane operations. For example, Microsoft Cortana's writing team regularly brainstorms how Cortana should respond to emerging issues, such as political questions.

A major challenge for AI writers and designers is defining the virtual assistant/human relationship via the bot's personality and approach, especially with personalization such a highly valued quality.

Sense.ly's Cathy Pearl says users can be more accepting of a virtual assistant's mistakes and limitations if it does not project human aspirations and has a sense of humor about it.

Conversational AIs are expected to become essential to the workforce, more than 33 percent of which is forecast to work alongside such technologies by 2019, according to Forrester Data.

From The Washington Post
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