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Introducing the Quartzy bot, your friendly cultural companion

Cross posted from quartzy.qz.com

Clothing and coffee are the non-negotiable items on my agenda each morning, and as part of my search for that perfect work-life-balance recipe, I’ve managed to automate both of them.

I don’t yet wield Martha Stewart’s power to summon a glass of green juice at the conclusion of my workouts, but I do have a dedicated stylist. And someone who handles my schedule. And a less-than-perfect household manager.

I’ve welcomed robots into my life.

At 7 am, while I’m still mired in the bog of my early-morning brain, a notification arrives. My personal stylist, Epytom, delivers an outfit recommendation, based on pieces I have in my closet and my local weather. Today? A Breton striped shirt, leather jacket, black skinny jeans, and my favorite white sneakers. I’m wearing exactly what the bot told me, styled with the images it sent.

The outfit’s perfect for my first meeting, which was scheduled by Andrew Ingram, my personal assistant. He’s also not a person—he’s a scheduling bot from x.ai. Andrew has access to my calendar and meeting preferences, from time of day to my favorite local coffee shop. I just CC him on an email, and he takes care of the rest.

These digital assistants have infiltrated our habits, but they’ve also captured our imagination. Our days are richer than a series of reminders and meetings—they’re full of curiosity about the world around us, and where and how we intersect with it.

That’s why we’re creating a different kind of bot, modeled after our most culturally curious, well-rounded friends. It’s a cultural companion and guide—providing thoughtful dialogue about living well, in all its many forms. We’re ready to chat with you about cultural ephemera, send you tips or incredible finds, and embark with you on top-secret pop culture missions.

Full disclosure: Things might get messy, far beyond the recipes we’re tackling. We’re still learning the ins and outs of building chatbots, and occasionally things go wrong. Bear with us—we believe in taking risks, and we’re learning and improving as we go. We’re doing this in the spirit of experimentation, and we welcome your feedback and ideas over the next few months.

So how does it work? Just strike up a conversation with us on Facebook Messenger. We soft-launched a couple of weeks ago as a watch-along companion to Stranger Things seasons 1 and 2, the Netflix show-turned-internet-obsession from last summer. (Don’t worry—you tell us where you are, and we’ll be sure not to spoil it for you.)

You can also learn to bake incredible no-knead bread with us, with a real-time, step-by-step guide. Have a question about yeast or your cookware? Just ask.

We will continue to add conversations over the next few months. We’d love to talk: bots@qz.com.