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Agora.Personalityr1.3 - 10 Feb 2019 - 16:04 - GregorioIvanoff

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Scenario 1: ‘Maria’ – Road Warrior

After a tiring long haul flight Maria passes through the arrivals hall of an airport in a Far Eastern country. She is travelling light, hand baggage only. When she comes to this particular country she knows that she can travel much lighter than less than a decade ago, when she had to carry a collection of different so-called personal computing devices (laptop PC, mobile phone, electronic organisers and sometimes beamers and printers). Her computing system for this trip is reduced to one highly personalised communications device, her ‘P–Com’ that she wears on her wrist. A particular feature of this trip is that the country that Maria is visiting has since the previous year embarked on an ambitious ambient intelligence infrastructure programme. Thus her visa for the trip was self-arranged and she is able to stroll through immigration without stopping because her P-Comm is dealing with the ID checks as she walks.

A rented car has been reserved for her and is waiting in an earmarked bay. The car opens as she approaches. It starts at the press of a button: she doesn’t need a key. She still has to drive the car but she is supported in her journey downtown to the conference centre-hotel by the traffic guidance system that had been launched by the city government as part of the ‘AmI-Nation’ initiative two years earlier. Downtown traffic has been a legendary nightmare in this city for many years, and draconian steps were taken to limit access to the city centre. But Maria has priority access rights into the central cordon because she has a reservation in the car park of the hotel. Central access however comes at a premium price, in Maria’s case it is embedded in a deal negotiated between her personal agent and the transaction agents of the car-rental and hotel chains. Her firm operates centralised billing for these expenses and uses its purchasing power to gain access at attractive rates. Such preferential treatment for affluent foreigners was highly contentious at the time of the introduction of the route pricing system and the government was forced to hypothecate funds from the tolling system to the public transport infrastructure in return. In the car Maria’s teenage daughter comes through on the audio system. Amanda has detected from ‘En Casa’ system at home that her mother is in a place that supports direct voice contact. However, even with all the route guidance support Maria wants to concentrate on her driving and says that she will call back from the hotel.

Maria is directed to a parking slot in the underground garage of the newly constructed building of the Smar-tel Chain. She is met in the garage by the porter – the first contact with a real human in our story so far! He helps her with her luggage to her room. Her room adopts her ‘personality’ as she enters. The room temperature, default lighting and a range of video and music choices are displayed on the video wall. She needs to make some changes to her presentation – a sales pitch that will be used as the basis for a negotiation later in the day. Using voice commands she adjusts the light levels and commands a bath. Then she calls up her daughter on the video wall, while talking she uses a traditional remote control system to browse through a set of webcast local news bulletins from back home that her daughter tells her about. They watch them together.

Later on she ‘localises’ her presentation with the help of an agent that is specialised in advising on local preferences (colour schemes, the use of language). She stores the presentation on the secure server at headquarters back in Europe. In the hotel’s seminar room where the sales pitch is take place, she will be able to call down an encrypted version of the presentation and give it a post presentation decrypt life of 1.5 minutes. She goes downstairs to make her presentation… this for her is a high stress event. Not only is she performing alone for the first time, the clients concerned are well known to be tough players. Still, she doesn’t actually have to close the deal this time. As she enters the meeting she raises communications access thresholds to block out anything but red-level ‘emergency’ messages. The meeting is rough, but she feels it was a success. Coming out of the meeting she lowers the communication barriers again and picks up a number of amber level communications including one from her cardio-monitor warning her to take some rest now. The day has been long and stressing. She needs to chill out with a little meditation and medication. For Maria the meditation is a concert on the video wall and the medication ... a large gin and tonic from her room’s minibar.

Keywords: ambient intelligence, filter bubbles, bot personality, digital me

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-- GregorioIvanoff - 20 Jan 2017
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