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Watch out, life coaches, Google’s AI is getting into life advice

Would you trust AI to give you life advice? Google’s latest AI project is on track to launch later this year and help your life.

A man sitting on a park bench thinking about various life advice.

If giving iffy tips for success is central to your livelihood, watch out–Google’s AI will allegedly be able to offer life advice through the use of 21 proprietary tools courtesy of the company’s DeepMind AI unit.

CNBC reports that Scale AI, a startup focused on testing and vetting AI tools, is on the hook for Google’s efforts going forward. They also mention that “more than 100 people with Ph.D.s” are working on this initiative, lending plenty of credibility to the project on paper.

However, Google has confirmed that the model is not intended to be used for therapeutic means, something that makes perfect sense after another high-profile AI chat service–Tessa, courtesy of the National Eating Disorder Association–disseminated inappropriate advice during a session and was subsequently taken offline.

The push comes at a time that is, in some ways, a little funny. For starters, back in December, AI experts warned Google executives that anyone who takes life tips from AI in the future would most likely suffer a lower quality of life and “loss of agency”. Clearly, that translates to “let’s run it” in Google’s in-house vernacular.

Secondly, concerns about AI ethics are at a healthy high for the time being. AI products have become quietly ubiquitous, and many of them kind of suck at doing anything for long periods of time (look no further than AI art generators cannibalizing each other). This means that Google’s idea to roll out AI life advice as a feature is coming at a clinically weird time.

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Nevertheless, the progenitors of the modern search engine don’t seem too fussed about the project, even pushing out search-based AI assessments in the meantime. 

When asked about the project by CNBC, a DeepMind spokesperson responded with a statement that included, “Isolated samples of evaluation data are not representative of our product road map.”

Regardless of the ethics or any possible stickiness, it seems that Google’s life advice AI is well on its way. Life coaches may have to tighten their belts here and there, but you shouldn’t worry about selling your practice for pennies just yet.

Jack Lloyd has a BA in Creative Writing from Forest Grove's Pacific University; he spends his writing days using his degree to pursue semicolons, freelance writing and editing, oxford commas, and enough coffee to kill a bear. His infatuation with rain is matched only by his dry sense of humor.


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