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Eric Schmidt wants an AI assistant named Not-Eric

Alphabet chairman touts the promise of artificial intelligence at New York conference

Win McNamee/Getty Images

Alphabet executive chairman Eric Schmidt thinks artificial intelligence has the potential to solve the "hard problems" that the world faces today, including climate change, education, and population growth — and he wants his own "Not-Eric" AI assistant, as well. As reported by Bloomberg, Schmidt made the comments at a conference in New York this week, where he called for more collaboration on the kinds of AI technology that Google and Facebook have begun developing.

"Every single advance has occurred because smart people got in a room and eventually they standardized approaches," Schmidt said. "The promise of this is so profound that we — Alphabet, Google, whatever our name is at the moment — are working incredibly hard to advance these platforms."

Schmidt wants a "digital thing that helps me."

Google, Facebook, and other tech companies have been racing to develop new AI technologies, and Schmidt has been a particularly vocal proponent, arguing that smarter computing will have positive ripple effects across various industries. He touted the technology's progress in op-eds for the BBC and Time magazine late last year, writing that we're now closer than ever to true artificial intelligence.

Schmidt also envisions personal uses for the technology, much like Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who recently described his plans to build Iron Man-like AI for his home. At the New York conference this week, Schmidt said he hopes to one day have an "Eric" and "Not-Eric" in his life, with Eric being himself and "Not-Eric" being "this digital thing that helps me."