A robot could get you the cheapest energy deal - forever

Robot with arm extended, computer illustration.Artificial Intelligence is not just the stuff of science fiction: it's right here, right now. What's more, it's not designed for the kinds of things you see in the movies (like becoming your friend), or the kinds of things that marketing people think we want (like your fridge ordering milk for you); instead is has been designed to save you hundreds of pounds a year on your energy bills - in a way that you wouldn't have thought possible.

The system, known as Myia, is a free intelligent assistant which will shop around for the best possible energy deal for your home. So far it doesn't sound so clever. After-all if you have a spare half hour, you could do this yourself (although in fairness most people don't get around to it).

Myia doesn't stop there, however. You just tell it once how you use energy, and it will scour the market for the company that offers the best possible deal for you. It will then bring you back a suggestion. If you decide to go for it, the system will then sort all the details of the switch on your behalf.

The idea of getting you to agree to a deal is to keep you in charge. It means there's not a robot running the show that could 'go rogue'. You're in charge of your own robot personal assistant.

The really clever bit

But the really clever part of the deal is that Myia won't stop there. If you are signed up to a fixed deal for six or twelve months, it will automatically search as your tariff gets close to ending, and come back with a better suggestion. If you are on a variable deal, it will keep searching, and the second a more competitive tariff pops up, it will alert you to that one too.

Technically, of course, we could all do this ourselves, but as Geraldine McBride, founder and CEO of MyWave - the company behind the new technology - puts it: "The market is too complicated and boring for most people to engage with, so we don't get around to switching and we end up paying far too much. You can delegate all the boring stuff to Myia, and get the time back in your life to enjoy the things you love.

The technology is already at work in New Zealand, where it is saving customers between 10% and 15% on their energy bills. The team behind the assistant say this figure will be even higher in the UK.

And it's not stopping there. The artificial intelligence programme took a few months to learn the insurance market, and it is now in the process of learning the mortgage and savings markets. It therefore won't be long before we can task Myia with the boring business of shopping around for these too.

But what do you think? Would you trust artificial intelligence with this job? Let us know in the comments.

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