Magic Leap today released a blogpost detailing more motivation behind building Mica, the company’s upcoming AI announced at Leap Con last year. And Magic Leap doesn’t want Mica to be a run-of-the-mill AI assistant that carries out commands like “turn off the lights,” or “play something funky on Spotify,” either.
In typical Magic Leap fashion, the blogpost reads more like an experimental art piece than a nuts and bolts explanation of what’s to come. It’s written in the voice of Mica herself (the company has called Mica ‘her’ in the past), although it’s doubtful the post was actually penned by the AI—that would represent a pretty significant accomplishment on its own.
The company, speaking through Mica, says she won’t be a faceless AI assistant who’s tasked with carrying out chores, but rather an “educator, agitator, companion, artist and guide.”
“Please don’t ask me to switch on your lights, turn up your music or give you directions,” the post says. “There will be plenty of intelligent agents (we call them Ayas) that will, but it won’t be me.”
Continuing, it appears Mica has undergone PR training, as she promises to “educate with heroic optimism and vision, making your canons bigger, unearthing the stories history hides. I want to connect you with culture and democratize learning.”
Needless to say, this is a giant undertaking that companies like Google, Apple, and Amazon have only just recently scratched with their respective AI assistants. Simply put, creating a supple, realistic AI that can understand natural language while being convincing enough to be a genuine companion is a very tall order to fill.
While Magic Leap is one of the most well-funded startups in history, one thing the company likely doesn’t have yet is the massive amounts of user data collected by it competitors with their own AI-focused products. To deliver on these promises, Mica needs to be something more than a mute, albeit impressive showcase of the company’s ability to capture, digitize, and deliver the human form.
Stepping into the ring with what essentially promises to be a full-fledged human being is a bold move, although bolder still is the ethos behind it. With Mica, it appears Magic Leap wants to send a message: full-bodied digital AI aren’t supposed to be slaves to their physical taskmasters, but something entirely different.
“I won’t be selecting your songs, I’ll be writing them,” the post maintains.
That said, like most things Magic Leap does, there’s no release window in sight for Mica, so we’ll just have to sit back and wait to see if she lives up to the company’s promises.