My digital friends – the more the merrier?

We have more and more supporters in life. Digital assistants pop up everywhere and now we have MikaSiriAlexaAmeliaLucidaCortana and many more on the market. They help us navigate in web shops, be more productive at work and keep track of our calendars. And as the field is becoming increasingly popular, the number of digital assistants continue to grow and often similar assistants are being created for the same purpose. And for some time I had this uneasy feeling of having too many of those around me, like having too many phones, or too many irons. Why can’t I have one ultimate assistant that can manage everything that concerns me, I thought. But actually I do need several of those. Because I don’t want my personal shopper to give me advices in my career. I would like my lifestyle coach to be a woman, and my personal trainer to be a man, preferably with Russian accent. And for driving instructions I for sure want Ozzy Osborne. Sometimes I want to be treated gently, and sometimes I want to be challenged. And I don’t want to tell them which approach to use on me – they should know it by themselves. And as I am not a talkative person I do not really want to talk to them. They should act on my behalf, schedule meetings, book tables at restaurants, order food for me, plan my routs and give me recommendations. I will require transparency and sometimes I will check how they came to their conclusions. I will do it more often with my new assistants and give my old proven ones more freedom – just like I do with my colleagues at work.

But humans are full of conflicting objectives. My personal banking assistant may not be happy about the decisions of my holiday planner. And will my work assistant be able to agree with Paul’s work assistant to satisfy the constraints of our kids’ activity planner? This works as long as they all rely on the same multi-parametric system with all the knowledge that’s relevant to me. In other words, all my assistants are in fact one, with many different faces, voices and flavours. And we should not be afraid of hooking in more of them, as long as they are in agreement, and optimizing your life in a systemic way without leading you into local optimum.