A digital version of Dr. Deepak Chopra will soon be able to give you advice whenever you need it through an app on your phone.
Chopra, the famous writer and teacher, has partnered with San Francisco-based software company The AI Foundation to create an advanced, personalized artificial intelligence adviser called “Digital Deepak” that will launch on phones in early 2020.
“My hope is to reach a critical mass —at least 1 billion people,” Dr. Chopra said. “The AI will live longer than me and be able to speak to my grandkids’, grandkids’, grandkids.”
A preview of the Digital Deepak app was presented last month in a first-ever public demonstration on stage at Dr. Chopra’s annual Sages & Scientists Symposium, and CNBC had a chance to try it out.
“At the AI Foundation, we are driven by the idea that AI has incredible potential to benefit humanity,” said Dr. Lars Buttler, CEO of The AI Foundation. “Digital Deepak exemplifies our mission to promote positive global uses of AI. [Digital Deepak] is a digital representation of an actual human being in your pocket.”
Here’s what it’s like.
The Digital Deepak app’s interface operates similar to a video call, with the user on camera in the top right corner of the device. After it greets the new user, it informs them that it will serve as their “infinite well-being guide.”
It tracks facial expressions and tone of voice to answer questions, share insights and lead users through one-on-one meditative exercises geared toward improving various aspects of the user’s life, from financial wellness to fitness and health.
There are still some bugs, however. Response times are still slightly delayed, which caused Digital Deepak to sometimes talk over me.
How ‘Digital Deepak’ learns
Digital Deepak is trained with information exclusively from books, letters, speeches and other content Dr. Chopra provides the AI Foundation. If it is asked something he should know, but does not yet understand it will respond, “Thank you for making me smarter, let me get back to you.”
Digital Deepak also learns about the user through regular use. The AI develops a more personal relationship with you over time and will eventually greet you by name or talk about previous discussions.
However, the AI only learns new capabilities directly from the real Dr. Chopra. If the AI is asked to do something it is not meant for, like discussing politics or religion, it will simply respond, “Let’s stay on course.”
“Ultimately, the AI is trained to stick to its guns,” said Dr. Buttler. “It does not learn directly from the audience.”