It’s already 2018! You’ve probably seen a lot of predictions floating around for the new year, and some things have been confirmed or denied.
Some things that have no doubt been filling your newsfeeds include: expert analysts predict that Amazon will buy Target sometime this year; the next royal wedding will take place next Spring; the final season of Game of Thrones will not air until some yet-to-be-announced date in 2019.
With CES taking place at the beginning of the year, like always, home automation and artificial intelligence (AI) have been top of mind for the tech community, and for those that have grown to love their smart technology over the recent years.
All that chatter got me thinking about what shifts I expect to see for home automation and artificial intelligence in the new year. Here are my thoughts:
AI is going to get more human.
As the world, generally speaking, becomes more and more accepting of using AI in their homes, social lives, and businesses, the tech is going to get more commercial.
We’ve already seen some major failures when it comes to companies harnessing AI for use as chatbots, but those failures have taught us important lessons. Chatbots are going to continue to be upgraded to be more sensitive and conversational, and they will be used more by companies (for simple customer service issues) as well as individuals.
Smart Assistants are going to work harder to understand us. Smart assistants are great – as long as you don’t have any sort of accent. Once you throw in an accent, the likes of Siri and Alexa suddenly have a difficult time figuring out what you have asked.
Whether you are trying to speak a text message or email, look up a local restaurant or turn your living room lamp on, it’s time for smart assistants to step up their ability to understand all types of talk. Will this ever be perfect? Probably not; I mean, I still can’t understand everything my Irish relatives say.
There is, however, room for improvement.
Smart technology is going to get smarter. Smart home technology is useless if it isn’t actually built to be smart. If your video doorbell or security camera is constantly sending you emergency alerts every time the wind blows – you’re likely to just throw it on the ground and stomp on it.
Products are already starting to integrate tech that can help it distinguish a tree branch from a person, but what about identifying the mailman or FedEx guy without sending an alert that someone is on your porch? I’m ready to see this category expand its programming.
The new world of smart partnerships is going to grow. We’ve already seen major retailers Amazon and Walmart partner with smart lock makers and delivery carriers to offer delivery services that allow packages to be left in the home. There is talk that this type of service might also extend to vehicles. I expect to see more partnerships like this – beyond just Domino’s and Starbucks having apps that allow voice ordering.