Alexa, Find Me an Exclusive Topic to Write on

9 Min Read

Juairia Haque Mahi

What comes to your mind when I ask you to think about a smart home using artificial intelligence? My brain redirects me to an automated home containing multiple devices that smoothly perform the manual household chores following a command, be it a voice-command or turning the device on. Au fond, your competence at overseeing your home’s serviceability plainly with your own voice-command to the appliances using AI and IoT.

Friday morning, you wake up. It’s a holiday. You think of spending quality time with your family at home instead of hanging out. The AI-supported refrigerator shows you the list of possible recipes that can be cooked by the food items inside it, and the items that are out of stock. Smart kitchens would automatically start the cooking-preparations after you select the option to allow it. This possibility seems superfluous to some; diversely, useful to some. Demand for AI-based televisions will escalate as those will have both Wi-Fi connection and NLP (Natural Language Processing) features offering better user experience, since the users can voice-command.

Those who get jittery or go through OCD when they are away from home, and repetitively check their home’s security status, can stay at ease if they enable AI-assisted security systems. An AI-assisted lock-system increases home safety measures as you can get notified remotely through your phones if the doors are locked or opened by someone. You can even remotely open the doors for anyone; hence, no more “rushing at home leaving everything because someone forgot the keys or came unexpectedly”. Moreover, advanced CCTV or security cameras like Nest Cam, NETATMO Welcome, and Existence own customisable security solutions, namely live-streaming the house 24/7, sensing motions, and sending notifications of an intruder’s or stalker’s movements.

Amazon Echo or Alexa, Bixby, Cortona, Google Home, and Siri are some of the virtual assistant AI technology. These speakers provide you with updates and information, make lists, create playlists, and turn on reminders if you command them properly. It may sound hilarious, but there’s a feasibility in the near future of getting accurately grounded when you order, “Alexa, ground me in writing a rib-tickling fiction.” 

Until then, keep ordering, “Alexa, make me cackle”, or keep on asking to play the best jazz to groove to. Sony’s LF-S50G, Panasonic’s SC-GA10, and Sonos’ speakers have better sound quality, if you wish to keep a music-focused speaker. Besides, Valossa aids you to discover the movies you can only recall eensy fragments of. TasteKid is there to answer your perpetual queries on what to do next and the best pieces to read within an hour, without getting pissed at your cockamamie behest. 

AI’s interoperability and deep-learning of the users’ necessity would enhance the appliances’ convenience. As proof, Nest Thermostat can fuel-efficiently perform your heating. Over time, it would attune to your method, and won’t need you to control it. If your regular schedule includes taking breakfast at 9am or washing your clothes at 4pm, the smart appliances will set their settings to perform automatically according to your schedule. So, the more you use them, the better they apprehend you. 

Suppose you’re unsure of the amount of detergent or washing powder required for different fabrics, and the fitting process to lave your clothes. You’d not need to worry if you possess an AI-assisted washing machine at your home. It would automatically regulate the amount, and alert you when there’s an overload of clothes or a washing-powder deficiency. These advanced washing machines would lessen the powder consumption and save water to a great extent.

No parents can deny the hurdles of raising children and coping with their whimsical tantrums. AI-assisted devices, for instance Asus Zenbo and Babysitter bot Asus, can comprehend the natural voice of children, and render services according to their summons like playing games, reading them out tales, singing them to sleep, and entertaining them. Wi-Fi enabled baby monitors pitch in with the parents checking their babies’ condition when they are away or zizzing.

There are bots for lawn-mowing purposes as well as for cleansing purposes, such as Neato Botvac D5 and the iRobot Roomba 980. These can detect and cleanse dirt at every nook and corner at your home; while you can carry on your freelancing without worrying about unsullying your feculent room.

Lighting and thermostat management appliances using AI are, sad to say, deemed to be undue due to their costs. Insomuch as these substantially curtail your annual electricity bill up to 15%. The percentage might seem small in number, but would you like unnecessarily spending 15% more on any commodity? 

In-abode AI robots are gradually advancing to assist us in multitudinal forms; From interfacing with daily appliances to doing the household chores, from rejoindering our queries to entertaining us. Kuri Home Robot can even detect different faces and voices to tailor its responses according to each. AI technology based home appliances are getting configured to distinguish the anticipated data among the millions of pieces of info in their databases by the neural networks. The smart home appliances can both be implanted into mobile devices and be used as standalone gadgets. The accrue of home technologies becoming more anthropomorphic with the depletion of the kits’ cost is what we will encounter through time.

Surveillance smart gadgets are monitoring our movements 24/7 to anticipate our needs, and control various aspects of our home. As such, these gadgets invade personal spaces, and get access to personal data while assisting in household tasks. Potential risks of these devices include privacy violation, identity theft, cultural jeopardy, deep-fakes, algorithmic biases, socioeconomic equity, and automation-prodded unemployment. Suppose your laptop or smartphone gets stolen or hacked. The hacker might get access to all of your personal data through the connected application used to regulate the appliances.

A colossal number of housekeepers, gardeners, and baby-sitters would lose their jobs due to the advancement of home appliances. We can’t complacently sit back and predict that socioeconomic inequity won’t happen if AI takes over the factors previously performed manually. It’s onerous to re-skill the potential job-losers within a short span, especially people from the third world. They are most likely to be unable to afford these smart appliances, let alone retain their jobs. Re-skilling and switching jobs are unwarranted. Well, the bright side of AI’s proliferation at homes highly depends on the maintenance of employment opportunities by the governments. Besides, the induced indolence by dint of profound reliance on technology will bring appalling consequences. 

There’s an acute prospect of people ordering well-nigh anything to the appliances and receiving the exact responses they were seeking — just as the title of this piece. It’s equally subversive as it is beneficial.

Do we stop using AI in home appliances then?

No. We better not become puppets of technologies, as the motive of AI-based home-devices is to assist us. The choice lies in our hands — whether we let the ripples of joy turn into the seiches of conundrum, or not. 


The writer is a part of the TDA Editorial Team.


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