Tech giants Amazon, Google, Facebook, IBM and Microsoft announced recently that they were starting a partnership dedicated to advance public understanding and research of artificial intelligence (AI). They aim to, in their own words, “conduct research, recommend best practices, and publish research under an open license in areas such as ethics, fairness and inclusivity; transparency, privacy, and interoperability; collaboration between people and AI systems; and the trustworthiness, reliability and robustness of the technology.”
That is to say, the wish to develop some sort of regulation regarding one of the most cutting-edge technological subjects of the day: the creation of intelligent software. All companies have their own AI research teams. IBM is known for Watson, a question-answering computer system that can answer questions posed in natural language. Amazon has developed Alexa, which is an intelligent personal assistant that can perform voice interaction, set alarms, and provide weather, traffic and other real-time information.
Although these two examples are still very primitive in regards to what people think of when they think about artificial intelligence, they are a step toward the development of more advanced programs.
Samsung Electronics is the latest tech company to enter the world of AI. Its arrival comes a little late, but the company has a certain advantage over its competitors: they intend to integrate AI to a wide range of home appliances, such as washing machines, refrigerators, televisions, and even cookers.
Samsung recently acquired Viv Labs, the creators of Siri and Viv, another intelligent personal assistant, and are eager to participate in the creation of new intelligent software.
Their aim its to integrate AI software into home appliances, not just smartphones, in order to create a “connected technology” which will extend to all sorts of devices.
Alexa and Google Home can interact with other devices but in a very limited manner. Samsung is betting on launching an AI software with the inbuilt ability to connect to all of its future products.
Rhee Injoeg, executive vice president for Samsung, said rather cryptically that people will be able to ask their refrigerators to show their photos on their phones.
Is this the future that await us? Tweeting from our ovens? It is not clear yet what the endgame is for Samsung, but no one can deny that they are approaching this crowded market in an original way.
AI research is advancing slowly but steadily, and it is posing to become one of the major themes in humanity’s future, but luckily there is still a ways to go before the robot uprising takes place and our refrigerator tries to kill us.