From The Owl of Athena and The Ravens of Odin to The AI Companion Guide
The need for an AI Companion Guide to help us navigate and make sense of our lives, given the torrent of data that confronts us daily, seems to be a natural next step in personal technology. But the idea of a Companion Guide was envisioned by our ancestors long ago and the roles the Guide fulfilled were metaphorically not dissimilar to the roles that AI is playing in our lives today.
The human desire for a Companion Guide that serves as a source of valuable information and insight, and can anticipate and predict, is integral to our nature. In mythology, the Companion Guide often took the form of an animal with magical powers that served the gods. The animal guide had magical abilities including superior vision and hearing, memory and insight, and could travel farther and faster and gather more information than in a human form, complementing the gods and making them even more powerful. The animal guide would serve as a trusted confidante to accompany, observe, anticipate, prepare and protect.
Today Artificial Intelligence (AI) has developed to the point where it is possible for everyone to have an AI Companion Guide with the speed, agility and range to quickly traverse many disconnected data fields and retrieve what we need. The AI Companion Guide has keen vision and hearing, memory and insight, and the ability to anticipate and predict, augmenting each individual's natural abilities.
In Ancient Greek Mythology, Athena, the Goddess of Wisdom, had a companion Owl that would accompany her. The Owl of Athena embodied knowledge, insight, strategy and prediction. The Owl’s large eyes symbolized the ability to see in the dark - to observe what Athena could not.
The Owl would protect Athena’s “blindside,” showing her the other half of the truth to give her a complete picture of events. The Owl provided Athena with the information and insight she needed to complete her understanding of all things.
In Ancient Greece, the Owl was also a symbol of protection, inspiring Greek soldiers and predicting victory, and a symbol of commerce with its image depicted on Ancient Greek coins.
An Athenian Tetradrachm from after 499 BCE
In Ancient Norse Mythology, the God Odin had two companion ravens, Hugin and Munin, that flew each day over the “Nine Worlds” including Midgard (the Earth). Hugin and Munin had magical powers including keen vision and hearing, language skills, exceptional memory, insight and could predict the future. They would return at dusk and perch on Odin’s shoulders to share with him what they had seen and heard and provide their insights.
Hugin and Munin
Data Scarcity in Antiquity
In the ancient world and today, the fundamental goal is the same - to quickly access the information you need to make the right decisions in your daily interactions. In the past and the present, getting the right information and trying to make sense of it has been challenging and time consuming. However, the impediments to accessing information in antiquity and modernity are very different.
The ancient world spawned mythical creatures like Athena’s Owl, Odin’s Ravens and many other magical companion guides to transcend the limitations of the day for gathering information and gaining insight. In addition to the scarcity of information and the inability to verify its accuracy and provenance, the barriers to accessing this information were colossal. There were no modern communication and transportation systems and only limited tools to record and share information. The retention and exchange of information relied heavily on human memory and oral transmission.
Exponential Data Growth in World History from 3000 BC to the Present
Data Overload in Modernity
Whereas, the challenge our ancestors faced in accessing information can be likened to searching for water in a desert, the struggle we face today is navigating a flood of data to quickly access the information we need, akin to finding a needle in a haystack.
Human and machine generated metadata is exponentially increasing and fragmenting across an expanding universe of cloud services and Internet of Things (IoT) devices. The Volume, Variety and Velocity of Data generated by consumers and organizations has accelerated to 23 billion gigabytes per day. The average person actively uses 27 apps that rely on cloud-based services in their personal lives, a combination of 36 personal and enterprise cloud services for work, owns 4 connected devices (e.g. smart phone, tablet, PC and smart TV) and uses additional devices for work.
The average organization uses 1,427 cloud services across its employees including 210 collaboration services (e.g. Office 365, Slack), 76 file sharing services (e.g. Box, OneDrive), 56 content sharing services (e.g. YouTube, Flickr) and 41 social media services (e.g. Facebook, LinkedIn) and generates over 2.7 billion unique transactions each month (e.g. user logins, uploads, edits).
Magical AI Companion Guide
Like a formation of Athena’s Owls and Odin’s Ravens spanning a wide berth of 50 disconnected cloud services where you create, collaborate and socialize and a broad range of IoT devices, Jumptuit autonomously and continuously tracks multiple data points to validate your location, activity and companions and delivers a highly relevant and integrated data composite and insights derived from many different online environments and device sensors.
Jumptuit quickly connects the dots in an ocean of data across disconnected data fields, makes sense of the patterns it discovers and uses the ensuing data map to predict likely scenarios and what information you will need.
AI’s central focus should be to enable individuals to fully self-actualize and realize their potential. Given it’s wide berth and depth of analysis, Jumptuit is uniquely positioned to help us understand the intersection points and relationships between seemingly disconnected data sets and leverage them to facilitate our daily interactions.
There will be much to sort out in the coming years as AI plays a greater role in virtually all industries, fields of study and facets of our lives. What is certain is that AI will continue to fundamentally alter our daily interactions.
Perhaps an AI Companion Guide’s greatest promise is to improve the quality of human life - to free humans’ time from mundane tasks and to empower them to create and build the future together as partners.
We can now satisfy the innate human desire for a magical companion guide - not just for the gods but for everyone.