When you think of artificial intelligence, you probably think about HAL from 2001: A Space Odyssey, or tools like Siri, Cortana and Google Now. They might be useful from time to time, but for the most part feel futuristic or aspirational.
But AI can be understood simply as machines capable of learning, and some AIs are pretty good at learning simple tasks right now. For example: this AI can sort of play Mario:
Today Cool Websites and Apps looks at an AI that can help you manage your calendar, one that can create are for you, and another that you can watch solving a maze. There’s even one capable of insulting your friends, so you don’t have to. Let’s check them out.
X.AI: Let an AI Schedule Meetings for You
You know that email chain where you and a friend try to agree on when to meet? Stop having it. X.ai is an artificial intelligence program that looks at your calendar, then talks to people for you to work out a good time to meet. Just give it access to your Google calendar, then CC it the next time you need to schedule an appointment.
“Amy” will then respond to your email, offering a few free slots in your schedule for a meeting. Your contact can discuss times that might work better in plain language, and Amy will almost always understand. Odds are no one will notice there’s any AI at work here.
We mentioned this one while discussing tools that make Google Calendar even smarter, but thought we’d point it out again because it’s a really good example of AI tackling one thing really well.
DeepArt.io: Your Photo, in the Style of a Famous Painter
We’re probably a few decades from the point where AIs produce acclaimed art, but they’re already pretty good at imitating. If you don’t believe me, check out DeepArt.io, which uses any photo you upload to mimic a famous artist. I gave it a photo from a canyon in Utah, and asked for a painting in the style of Vincent van Gogh. I wasn’t disappointed:
There are a bunch of different artists offered, so check this out. It’s particularly cool if you’re looking for a unique Facebook cover photo.
Maze Generator: Watch an AI Try to Solve a Maze
For generations we’ve matched rats run through mazes, so why not watch a script do the same thing? Maze Generator is a simple site that generates a maze at random, then lets you watch as an algorithm tries to solve it.
It’s fascinating to see the AI learn from its mistakes, backtrack, and generally try to figure out what’s going on. Lean back and watch.
Eviebot: Cleverbot, with a Face and Voice
We’ve mentioned before how Cleverbot is a great momentary distraction. That AI has been talking with people for a long time, and tries to use past conversations as a reference for how to respond. It’s not perfect, and probably wouldn’t pass the Turing Test, but sometimes talking with Cleverbot can feel almost real. Eviebot uses Cleverbot, but supplements with a CGI face and a computer voice.
Again, it’s not much more than momentary distraction, but it can be an interesting one nonetheless. Let us know anything you learn during your discussion, okay?
Reginald: AI Assistant for Handling Useless Emails [No Longer Available]
And now for something completely useless. If you’re sick of insulting people yourself, by typing, Reginald is a simple AI you can CC in any email. It will then proceed to insult people for you, in as verbose a manner as possible.
I actually wasn’t incredibly impressed with Reginald’s reactions to my enemy Harry, but it can still be fun to play with. Sic ’em on a friend and see how it goes, if you’re curious, just don’t deliberately confuse people who don’t know better.
What Are Your Favorite Online AIs?
AI is a concept we just can’t stop talking about here at MakeUseOf. We’ve talked about what artificial intelligence isn’t, and even how AI sex toys will change dating in just a few years. Still, the tech can feel distant. We feel like these toys make the potential of AI feel a little bit more concrete, but we’d love to learn about more such sites.
So we want to know: what are your favorite online AIs to play around with? Or even use? Put your recommendations in the comments below, and thanks!