Self-tracking apps and devices have been giving people great amounts of new & interesting data. Data is an important pillar of the Quantified Self movement, but it is not enough by itself. It is about the insights and not the data. It is about how these services are using the data. Some rely on using this data and giving feedback by experts. We also been seeing Artificial Intelligence trying to replace these experts.
2016, the year of AI
Some services like Goqii & Luminosity rely on sending the tracked user data to experts. The experts analyse and provide actionable insight based on this data. It is definitely a step ahead, since people understand this data in a better way. Then on the other side, there are apps like Lark- using Artificial Intelligence to replace these experts. It is really interesting to compare it to the Industrial revolution, when machines started to replace labour. AI is doing the same thing, replacing human minds.
With an actual human, the interaction can be more personal. But then on the other hand, AI analysing your data may be more private. In many fields, with simple data parameters like calories, steps or time, an Artificial Intelligence algorithm can be more than sufficient. It can automate the entire process of self-help, with humans reaching out to AI for expert feedback. Various data can be conveyed to these services, like mental or emotional wellness.
AI: The new guru
Just like in the industrial revolution, when machines got the price of manufacturing down, Artificial Intelligence can be much cheaper than human experts if it is servicing on a large scale. With the cloud getting more affordable, it will be simple & inexpensive to employ these artificial algorithms.
Chat as the new interface
There are a rising number of apps using chat as an interface. It is quite perfect for the AI app aspect since that is a natural way of human communication. Apps like Lark & Quinto use chat to communicate data & more to the user. It is a seamless way of asking questions. The AI can convey lots of information in an organised manner using a chat interface.
We are already seeing AI reaching perfection in certain fields with Facebook’s M or Cortana. It will be interesting to see how it can evolve in the Quantified Self space. In places like the Withings app, with so much data available, it is useful that they recommend articles to get a better understanding of the tracked data. Taking this a step further, it will be great to get personalised advice on the users data.
Rather than information being bundled in books or videos, apps using AI can help with self-improvement through an interactive & integrated experience. With the focus moving from data to insights, AI can definitely be the new frontier in the Quantified Self movement.
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