Thoughts on Home and Personal AI

877 216 This Week in Machine Learning & AI

Hi there!

wrote about my key takeaways from CES in one of last month’s newsletters. But something’s been gnawing at me ever since. Beyond the initial kid-in-a-candy-store feeling of exploring three giant buildings filled with new toys, I was left a bit disillusioned about the state of AI in our personal lives.

Let me explain. On the one hand, machine learning and AI power many of the products we use every day. I’m thinking about all the AI that goes into maps and directions, predictive keyboards and email responses, services like Uber & Lyft, and more. Machine learning and AI make these products much more useful, and in many cases possible. I’m pumped about the roles ML and AI play in all of these things, and about what’s possible as the tools we use all the time get smarter.

But, at the same time, I haven’t found much utility in so-called “intelligent personal assistants” like Alexa. I have multiple of both Amazon and Google’s devices in my home, and while they do make decent speakers, timers, and alarm clocks, they don’t quite provide meaningful utility as personal assistants. Worse, the meteoric sales of these smart speakers have caught the attention of the consumer brands and have become the focus of their “innovation” efforts. (Alexa in my toaster? Why?)

What do you think? Am I too harsh here? Is consumer-focused AI under-delivering, or are my expectations just too high for these nascent technologies?

I think there’s an interesting conversation to be had on this topic, so I launched the MyAI video contest over on the podcast.

Please join us by visiting the contest page and recording a brief video to share your take on the current state of personal AI.

I’m looking forward to hearing from you!

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