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Conversational Alternate Brains That Amplify Your Life

I’m proud to announce the availability of AltBrains Workshop(TM) on Samsung’s Bixby platform. Other platforms will be added in future.

This initial version of AltBrains Workshop can be described in many different ways.

AltBrains Workshop is a Bixby “capsule” available from the Bixby Marketplace. Just press the Bixby button on your device or say “Hi, Bixby”, then use the search looking glass to find “AltBrains Workshop.”

To try it out, begin by saying “In AltBrains Workshop, show all AltBrains.” This week you will see a list of about ten demonstration AltBrains, including:

More content and more topics will be added rapidly over the coming weeks. You can see an example by tapping “Inside the Helmet”, which takes you to the detail page for that AltBrain, which is about the Disney+ Star Wars show The Mandalorian. You can then choose between the utterances “Latest news…” and “Browse facts…” News stories and factoids are designed to give you just the information you need to stay informed, like a good personal assistant giving you a briefing.

Utterances for other types of content will also be added soon, including FAQs,quotations, image galleries, quizzes, audio, and video, as well as for software services such as mapping. The roadmap also includes regular consultation about your information needs. For example, you might instruct AltBrains Workshop “Don’t tell me anything more about Impeachment until it’s actually going to happen, but let me know everything you get about US elections.”

You can also request that a new AltBrain be created. The utterance should be in the form “Create an AltBrain on [topic]”. Bixby will then take you through an information-collecting dialog then present you with a confirmation that your request was submitted. At present this is a request rather than a command and the process for creating AltBrains is semi-automated. In this hand-tailored approach, I’m following the startup adage about doing things that won’t scale first so that I can develop a deeper understanding of exactly what users need, but in the future the process will be automated and will include notifications when new AltBrains are ready.

Content providers are given a customized, user-friendly webform that they can use to enter individual article updates. Mass uploads are possible via CSV, JSON, and API. DIY tools will be coming soon.

In the ultimate vision, each user will have a collection of their own personal AltBrains that can optionally be shared in the common catalog. Similarly, content owners and creators will take advantage of the capsule’s common utterances to rapidly deploy their content onto Samsung’s billion-device footprint of conversational multimedia devices. Agents will learn user preferences and content providers will adapt to agent demand to produce a content experience that is consultative rather than consumptive; focused on providing efficient and valuable information and action rather than on maximizing clicks and outrage. As you go through life, learning about one topic after another, rather than descending into a spiral of narrow, frustrating obsessions, you will spin off AltBrains that will amplify your life.

I’m going to close with some real talk about the world situation in general and mine in particular.

As for the world, confirmed coronavirus cases have just passed 450,000 and the entire world is on lockdown. The world that emerges 12 to 18 months from now may very well be remarkably different in many ways. The prolonged geospatial and emotional disruptions will result in important new ways of working together and important new ways of experiencing our relationship with computationally delivered content. AltBrains Workshop is well positioned to add a new kind of value in this new world.

As for myself, I have been working on AltBrains Workshop nearly full time with no income since I was laid off from Cengage Learning in November 2019. We’ve already tapped our retirement funds and my family and I (for which I am sole provider) have about six months of runway left on the current trajectory. I’ve built something valuable and interesting, and now I need to make it pay.

There has never been a better time to explore a new way of pursuing your interests, and there will never be a better time to forge new business relationships. If you’ve ever thought, “I’d like to do something with Fred” – now’s your time. If you’ve ever thought – “I’d like to build an audience for something I’d like to share” – now’s your time. If you’ve ever read a post like this one and thought, “this sounds like an interesting project, maybe this guy can help me and my company” – now’s your time.

Start with “Hi Bixby, in AltBrains Workshop, show all AltBrains.”

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Content type: news

Tags: vision,Bixby