Your AI Cat

The Late Nineties Furby

Furby was one of my first encounters with a sensor-based AI. It was a crude device, half plush and half hard plastic. My favourite thing to do with him was swing him by his feet. He would yell, "Whooooooaaaaaaaaaaa........!!" Occasionally it would belch and then giggle hysterically. But aside from saying funny things, the Furby didn't serve a purpose other than entertainment.

Now, picture a higher quality version of this bizarre creature, but with an AI inside. We're starting to see new products approaching this. But I'm talking something closer to Amazon's Alexa inside of a toy.

Taking Your Cat Everywhere

If you're a cat person, then you've probably commented at least once, "I wish I could take my cat with me." Cat people know this would be disaster. 

What we would see if our cartoon interpretation of a cat, one that can talk, make jokes and have a wacky attitude. What we have yet to see from AI are personalities that make interactions with machines hilarious, like cats with funny captions. Finding the balance between inane banter and entertainment will be difficult. Many personalities will be attempted and rejected. Of the ones that become successful, expect cats to continue to take a major role in human culture.

 

Bruce The Cat

I have always loved cats. I come from a family of cat people. I've drawn cartoons about cats, I've written stories about cats, I've been obsessed with cats. 

My friend and ex-roommate Jeremy taught me an important lesson about cats. The best ones are giant, orange and long-haired, like his cat Colby Cheese. Like all of our cats, Bruce came from my mother-in-law's place on the outskirts of town. Even these days, many people unfortunately think it is acceptable to drop cats and kittens out in the country.

Meet Bruce

Bruce decided to take a nap with Pikachu from the Pokémon series. I tucked him in.

Bruce Loves Mondays

Or really any day that I'm working. Since starting TamiasTech with Eric, that's most days. Bruce likes to hang out with me when I'm working. The great thing about working with computers is that you stay very still for a long time. This gives the cat the chance to have several naps but it makes it tough to get up to get more coffee.

He Puts It All Out There

Bruce is extremely friendly and affectionate. People who don't like cats probably think that all are stand-offish and temperamental. Environment and stability has a huge impact, but so does breed. My first cat was a Siamese — nice to look at but not a good pet. Bruce's attitude is demonstrated below.

Big Furry and Orange

Do you have a furry orange cat? Do you find that he or she is incredibly laid back? I'd like to hear.