The purpose of this panel is to explore issues that will arise in building future personal assistants (PAs), especially for family use. In this regard, we will consider implications of being an "assistant" and those of being "personal." The target timeframe is 3-10 years out, so that very near-term products will not be discussed. We will elaborate briefly on the kinds of communicative and inferential capabilities such PAs will need, and then examine their social and emotional capabilities. We will discuss pros and cons for their evolution and deployment. In this regard, we will discuss the kinds of support that could be provided by the HCI community in building personal assistant systems that are useful, delightful, functional, controllable, educational, ethical, and secure.
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