Artificial Intelligence
AI is expected to create more jobs than it eliminates in the years to come.Creative Commons
If you have watched the critically-acclaimed 2013 American science-fiction romantic movie Her, you will have seen how the protagonist Theodore Twombly develops an emotional connection with an artificial intelligence (AI) based OS, who is personified in the form of 'Samantha,' except that she's not human, but just a virtual AI. That's exactly what seems to be going on in Huawei's mind right now. The Chinese technology major is planning to build an AI which will engage in "emotional interactions" with humans.

Huawei already has its own voice-activated digital assistant for its products in China, just like Apple has Siri, Samsung has Bixby and Google has Google Assistant. But now, it plans to push the limits of its virtual assistant and equip it with an "emotional quotient" – something that is still lacking in most digital assistants.

"We want to provide emotional interactions. We think that, in the future, all our end users wish they can interact with the system in the emotional mode. This is the direction we see in the long run," Felix Zhang, Vice president of software engineering at Huawei told CNBC.

Zhang was talking at the company's recent annual global analyst summit that was held in Shenzhen, China, where Huawei was talking about its future plans for its AI service, which could have its digital assistant feel a range of emotions just like how it is portrayed in some sci-fi movies.

The team of developers at Huawei who are working in the new assistant seem to have drawn their inspiration from the 2013 sci-fi movie 'Her' where a lonely unmarried man in his 40s develops a relationship with an AI called Samantha.

sex doll 3
Engineer-inventor Douglas Hines poses with his company's 'True Companion' sex robot, Roxxxy, at the booth at the AVN Adult Entertainment Expo in Las Vegas, Nevada, January 9, 2010. In what is billed as a world first, a life-size robotic girlfriend complete with artificial intelligence and flesh-like synthetic skin was introduced to adoring fans at the AVN Adult Entertainment Expo.ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Image

Huawei wants its assistant to sound more human-like and keep the conversations going as far as possible. This will only be possible if the AI can understand the complex human emotions.

But while major OEMs like Apple, Samsung, LG and now Huawei are working hard to develop an AI that can act and think like humans, it also raises concerns about a prophetic AI invasion, which many in the tech world have foreseen as having a devastating aftermath.

Elon Musk, who is also known as the Tony Stark of the real-world, has opined that in the age of AI, humans would create "an immortal dictator from which we would never escape."

The prospect of an emotionally-equipped AI also brings the question of human-to-human relationships and interactions which will surely take a hit, especially considering the current scenario.

However, we are still yet to see AI reach that level of intelligence and Huawei's efforts to make an "emotionally intelligent" AI are only in the infancy and it will be years until we see a very emotionally potent AI. Until then, we can just enjoy the possibilities that AI has to offer and at the same time debate on the various risks that it could trigger.