Ran across an interesting thought in a recent podcast from Freakonomics Radio - what we need out of AI isn't constant, all-controlling decision making, what we need is a GPS-like decision making machine. You give it a destination, and it tells you the route, but if you change your mind, say take this turn instead of going straight, it just recalculates and points you back to your destination, but now taking your new route with a new arrival time.
Still not following? Fine, let's put it in terms of personal finance. You are 22 years old, fresh out of college, and want to be retired in the vague future, preferably at 35. You take your new GPS-like AI program and give it those parameters, and all your other financial details (owe so much in student loans and for your car, cost of living in the area is so much, etc). It says great, turn right at such and such job down the street. You get said job, but it doesn't pay quite as much as you thought it would, which info you put into your GPS like coach, and it recalculates and says, Great! But you're working until 37.
"I want a house."
"In your area, master, I suggest renting."
"Nope, house it is."
"Okay, fine, but with that house mortgage, you'll need 20% down and so much a month in payments, so retirement won't be until 39, but you will be more financially stable after, so new course set. Enjoy your life, master!"
"Hey, I want to get eat fast food for lunch instead of bringing my lunch from home."
"Okay, but that's three times your grocery allowance for each week, so your retirement age is now 45. Please exercise more, or your medical bills might go outside of your budget, and I'd hate to lose you early, master."
"Golden arches, here I come!"
"Man, I want that new Mustang, can I buy one?"
"Sure, master, but your retirement age is now 55. Or, you could buy a 5 year old Mustang, skip GAP insurance and new vehicle depreciation, and keep your retirement at 45."
"Last gen Mustang, here we come!"
The AI has all the information (programmed to search the 'net for the latest market information, cost of living in the area, track the user's debts and credits, etc), is making the long term decision making to plan out courses of action, but you have a firm grip on the rudder. A pleasant voice issues from your phone/computer/entertainment center telling you which way to guide your life (encouraging you, even), and you respond back with what you're doing and where you're at to get updated "directions" and "estimated time of arrival".