Artificial Intelligence into Smart Homes



Smart Homes (Aitrends, 2018)

From Siri to diagnosing diseases, Artificial Intelligence (AI) is progressing rapidly. While movies show AI as robots replacing human’s characteristics, this new trend is entering our lives to perform tasks of our daily routine with the promise of making our lives much easier (Popsci, 2018).

As time goes by, we find ourselves immersed in eternal to-do lists that seem to have non-ending tasks leading us to even busier lives: with too many things to do in so little time. Everyone seems to be looking for that magic way to save time (Forbes, 2018). To solve this problem, new technologies are focused on identifying chores and replacing them in order to handle these activities and improve our life. An example can be seen with Alexa (The Guardian, 2018), a virtual assistant that helps you with specific tasks like: creating your to-do lists, placing orders online, giving you the time and reading recipes while you cook.

But, how do smart home devices will use ‘personas’ and AI to fulfill our needs? How can this technology improve our lifestyles?

A smart home is a convenient home setup where appliances and devices can be controlled from any internet-connected place using a mobile or other device (Investopedia, 2018). Today more than 2.5 million households in the UK have a smart home, increasing to 5.5 million by 2022 (Statista, 2018).

Smart speakers have become the central feature in people’s living room, with newer models connected to every element in your home, from the light bulbs to the lock on your front doors to the thermostat. However, it is not only about simple voice commands and setting up routines. With AI technology, this ‘cloud’ is able to detect and learn your behaviors to then automate your home based on your habits. It will predict what you want, recognize the different personas and adapt to each of them in order to make it easier and more comfortable (Independent, 2018).


Smart Speaker Google Cloud (Techaeris, 2018)

Let’s picture for a moment how our lives can change with the use of this new technology.

It’s 7am and your alarm switches on. Few minutes later, the latest news on BBC pop up while you start getting dressed for work. What you haven’t realised is that you didn’t need to set up the alarm the night before. Your phone already knew that today is Monday and it has calculated the time you start work and how long it takes you to get there. It also knows that you have Yoga lessons at 6pm, and will probably remind you to bring your gym bag. As you come down to the kitchen, the smell of freshly-made coffee announces that your breakfast is ready. Thanks to the technology in your refrigerator, it knew that you were running out of bread so it placed an order through your Amazon Prime account and will be deliver later. Also, sensors in the pantry were capable of measuring the toilet paper and laundry supplies left to add it in the list.

The Amazon order arrives while you are at work. The camera at your front door recognizes the truck from DHL and enables the lock of your front door to open, letting the delivery person enter your house and leave the package in the kitchen. He will be followed through all the process, and pictures will be taken in case of any insecurity emergency. Once he leaves the house, the front door will lock again.

You’re day is over and while you finish your yoga lesson, your home is alerted of your return. The house immediately turns on the lights and start heating. It also knows that today’s dinner is an oven-bake chicken with salad, since you just started diet in a three-month goal to reduce weight. Your husband is arriving in few minutes later with his business partner, Peter, so that today’s dinner is for three. But what is more interesting, is that it already knows that Peter doesn’t eat many vegetables and that after meal, he likes drinking a short Macchiato with brown sugar. That is already sort out; the ‘cloud’ has already order the brown sugar a couple of days before.

As soon as you enter your house, the camera in the garage recognizes you and has already created this ‘persona’ that let it, not only knows who is, but also what you like or dislike. It opens the door for you and you can hear the music on your playlist all around your house. The oven turns on and starts baking. It has calculated the time of cooking and the time left for your husband to arrive.

After a long day, you are ready to go to bed. You don’t have to worry about cleaning, your home devices have taken care and your iRobot Roomba (iRobot, 2018) has started to vacuum the floor. You get ready and lie in your bed to read. While reading, your watch vibrates warning you that your body temperature has raised. It also suggests you to take a pill from the drawer and go to bed. It turns off the lights.


The future of AI (Technofaq, 2018)

For some, it might be a bit scary knowing the fact that your house is totally in control of a ‘cloud’ which has stored all your data and your beloved ones. Some others might be waiting for the moment for it to happen; which seems to be very close. And for you, can you see yourself implementing these new technologies in a near future?

References

0-www-statista-com.wam.city.ac.uk. (2018). CityLibrary Account - City, University of London. [online] Available at: https://0-www-statista-com.wam.city.ac.uk/statistics/480566/digital-market-outlook-energy-management-smart-homes-by-segment-in-the-uk/ [Accessed 27 Jul. 2018].

AI Trends. (2018). Race is on for Control of the Smart Home - AI Trends. [online] Available at: https://aitrends.com/weekly-brief/race-control-smart-home/ [Accessed 27 Jul. 2018].

Bouwmeester, J. (2018). Senior Manager of Alexa AI leaves to become Technical Director of AI at Google Cloud. [online] Techaeris. Available at: https://techaeris.com/2018/02/28/senior-manager-of-alexa-ai-leaves-to-become-technical-director-of-ai-at-google-cloud/ [Accessed 27 Jul. 2018].

Forbes.com. (2018). [online] Available at: https://www.forbes.com/sites/andrewweinreich/2018/02/08/the-future-of-the-smart-home-how-homes-powered-by-artificial-intelligence-will-know-care-for-you/#435a25939749 [Accessed 27 Jul. 2018].

Popsci.com. (2018). Consent Form | Popular Science. [online] Available at: https://www.popsci.com/artificial-intelligence-home-use#page-6 [Accessed 27 Jul. 2018].

Techno FAQ. (2018). The Future Of Artificial Intelligence & The Smart Home | Techno FAQ. [online] Available at: https://technofaq.org/posts/2018/02/the-future-of-artificial-intelligence-the-smart-home/ [Accessed 26 Jul. 2018].

The Independent. (2018). Future smart homes will have roll-up TVs, a brain-wave bath. [online] Available at: https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/design/future-smart-homes-will-have-rollup-tvs-a-brainwave-bath-a8232406.html [Accessed 27 Jul. 2018].


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