Imagine a world where AI seamlessly handles every detail of your life, giving you back precious time. It’s been another huge week in AI, with both OpenAI and Google previewing their new products and services. In my view, OpenAI’s new GPT-4o model was a little bit more impressive, and what stood out for me was the ability of GPT-4o to interact in a nearly instantaneous way and guide a user through something as complex as solving a maths problem, something GenAI systems have struggled with until now.

These advancements have fuelled talk about the rise of the AI-assistant or digital agent. I’ve been talking about these consistently since 2017 and explaining to audiences that, slowly, all the pieces are coming together to make this a reality.

The examples that Google and OpenAI demonstrated still aren’t close to what I envisioned. My view of a true digital agent is that that they take care of the minutiae of our lives, just as a human personal assistant would.

I think we are getting closer because these new models can reason, understand context, and have a memory. When I was at IBM, I was assigned an Executive Assistant to help me with some of the administrative tasks of my role. Karen was brilliant because she knew the context of my role, could reason who should be able to get through to me, and built up a memory of all my preferred modes of travel, etc.

Now that GenAI systems are starting to master this and have the conversational abilities that OpenAI demonstrated, the next piece of the puzzle is to connect my life to these agents securely.

I need to allow them to have access to my bank account, my travel credentials and my purchase history if they are to be able to do things that I’ve envisaged, such as navigate a health insurance renewal and do “digital deals” with the corresponding digital agents of current and potential suppliers.

Does this all sound far-fetched?

Back in 2017, it seemed a long way off. Ironically, this was the year that a research team at Google advanced the development of the Transformer – the “T” in ChatGPT that has made Generative AI possible.

I’ve put all of these thoughts into a short video below.

As I’m the Actionable Futurist, at the end of the video I provide three actionable tips for you to stay ahead and embrace these new AI capabilities.

Would you allow a digital agent to manage the minutiae of your life and truly give you back hours of free time?