Tag Archives: artificial intelligence

Your Own Smart Home Robotic Assistants

In this podcast, Cathi Bond takes a look at the story coming out of the recent CES extravaganza, and the dominant role played by Amazon Echo in building a smart home hub (see, for example, CNET's writeup. Nora Young talks about cute home robots (via Technology Review). There's Kuri, which can control things in your house, but can also roam around and check on different parts of your home when you're not there. Or consider Lynx, which is integrated with Amazon Echo. It's starting to look like the smart home will increasingly be integrated with one of the big players' voice activated systems, like Echo, or Google's Home. Would you have one in your home? Do you? Let us know in the comments!   [iframe style="border:none" src="//html5-player.libsyn.com/embed/episode/id/4994537/height/100/width/480/thumbnail/no/render-playlist/no/theme/standard/tdest_id/237069" height="100" width="480" scrolling="no" allowfullscreen webkitallowfullscreen mozallowfullscreen oallowfullscreen msallowfullscreen] Download MP3

A.I. Therapy and Singularity…or Skynet?

Yay! We're back for season ten(!) of The Sniffer, and excited about another year of trendwatching and sniffing out what's happening in the technoculture. If you're just finding us now, you can learn more about Cathi Bond here, and Nora Young here. Nora is fascinated by technologies of self-tracking, technology and the body, advances in A.I., and bicycle tech. Cathi loves to sniff out trends in arts, culture, and publishing, with a side dish of robots, rural tech, and wacky gear. Hope you'll join us! This time, Nora looks at the story of Ellie, the A.I. psychologist, and wonders if, nearly 50 years after Eliza, A.I. therapy might be ready for its closeup. Would you engage with an artificial intelligence therapist? (Via The Economist). Cathi takes a broader view with a recap and thoughts on Nell Watson's recent talk about the future of A.I (via Gizmodo). Have we reached a point where A.I. is actually ready to do the kinds of things the past ~50 years have promised? Will they take all our jobs? You can watch the video for Humans Need Not Apply here.

The Sniffer, June 2nd, 2013: Trends in Books, A.I., Tree-houses, and Data

This time around, we do a bit of a debrief about Cathi Bond's book launch. Nora Young talks about an upcoming episode of Nora's show Spark, on the future of work, and wonders what are the jobs that humans - for sure - can do, that A.I. programs can't down the road. She mentions this New Scientist article on A.I. taking on some functions traditionally performed by judges. You can find some of Spark's past coverage on this issue here and here. So, what do you think? Based on how A.I. is progressing, what would you advise young people to go into as a career? Cathi's obsession with nests, cocoons, and tree-houses continues. This time it's a model rainforest in Cornwall that includes a very cool tree-house where you can stay over amongst the trees! (Via Gizmag) Nora's obsession with data continues as well. This time, it's a neat project launched by Intel's R&D wing and some TED fellows: We The Data is a platform for thinking up democratic approaches to data use (via Technology Review) Along the way, Nora refers to research at MIT, and practical uses of feature phone data.