Why Artificial Intelligence Products Have Human Names

Posted May 25, 2017 by Rashmi D @ 4:28 am

Caution – there are legal implications and requirements to be observed when naming a product after a famous person

artificial intelligence-human name

It’s true that Artificial Intelligence(AI) can do a lot of difficult things that extremely talented humans do but there’s another interesting thing about AI products – most if not all have human names, which has now become a trend. Today, AI is used to create marketing and corporate communication copy and manage purchase of planned media space at unbelievable speed. Then it has been used to drive a car without a human behind the steering wheel or go to another extreme by diagnosing cancer. Are these the reasons why the owners of AI products give them human names?

Maybe, because these AI solutions are increasingly doing many of the jobs that nobody imagined could be done by anything but humans. Interestingly, companies are choosing the famous achievers among humans to brand their AI products to perhaps suggest the level of sophistication of these solutions. But not all of them go for famous names; so there’s Jessie, the SFO hipster and Facebook messenger AI; Ross, which is IBM’s AI solution for legal affairs, that answers specific legal queries complete with citations; Ernest, the Facebook messenger in the UK, which is an AI solution that acts as a bank aggregator providing updates on a user’s bank transactions and some other details.

However, it’s not always easy to pick up just about any famous personality’s name to brand an AI product as Sharethrough, whose AI solution analyzes headlines and helps users write the perfect copy, realized. Given the nature of the product, it was but natural for Sharethrough to settle for the name Hemmingway to brand its AI solution. After all, Ernest Hemmingway is a globally famous name in the world of literature. But even the maker of AI solutions can suffer a lapse in intelligence as Sharethrough realized when it was pulled up by Hemmingway Ltd., a company that owns all the rights to Ernest Hemmingway collections. Sharethrough had to drop the name Hemmingway and eventually settle for a much less impressive and un-human ‘Headline Analyzer’.

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