back to article Within Arm's reach: Chip brains that'll make your 'smart' TV a bit smarter

Processor design house Arm has emitted a few more details about the AI brain it's trying to persuade chip makers to pack into their silicon. Pretty much everyone – from Intel and Qualcomm to IBM, Mediatek and Imagination – has some kind of dedicated neural-network accelerator among their blueprints, ready to slot into chips …

  1. malle-herbert Silver badge
    Big Brother

    How will it be used?

    By advertisers, to squeeze every last drop of data from you...

    By governments, to squeeze every last drop of privacy from you...

    (see China)

    The technology itself is fine... how it's going te be used is different matter...

    1. Thoguht Silver badge

      Re: How will it be used?

      If I'm going to have a telescreen in my house then the advertisers and the government can pay for it.

      1. Dodgy Geezer Silver badge

        Re: How will it be used?

        a) - It'll be a regulation

        b) - You'll be fined if you don't have it...

        Elf 'n Safety! Won't someone think of the children?!!

    2. vir Silver badge

      Re: How will it be used?

      Exactly: plenty of good use cases out there as mentioned in the article. Security camera that doesn't fill up GBs of space on nothing? Sounds good. Interfaces that can detect when you're interacting with them and respond back? Cool. But there's absolutely no way that these won't be used as the shiny bait to get you to agree to put more and more surveillance devices in your home at your own expense. I want to be the paranoid one on this but time and again it's been borne out. The extra ironic part is that this hardware, which ostensibly removes the need to communicate with the cloud by putting capabilities on board, will just be used to reduce the amount of heavy lifting Google, Samsung, et. al. will have to do on their end and you're the one paying for the upgrade. Every one of these devices will ship with clauses buried in their EULAs/ToS that make you give permission for the device to phone home for "troubleshooting" or "diagnostic" purposes, to "enhance user experience", or even - just putting it on the table - "to provide relevant advertising". No way to disable the "feature", obviously.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: How will it be used?

        Every one of these devices will ship with clauses buried in their EULAs/ToS that make you give permission for the device to phone home for "troubleshooting" or "diagnostic" purposes, to "enhance user experience", or even - just putting it on the table - "to provide relevant advertising".

        That isn't going to play well with GDPR. In fact I wonder when the case against Microsoft's telemetry gets under way.

        1. Alister Silver badge

          Re: How will it be used?

          @Doctor Syntax

          That isn't going to play well with GDPR.

          I don't think GDPR will have an impact, if they can claim "legitimate interest"

      2. TechnicalBen Silver badge
        Trollface

        Re: Hoodies?

        If hoodies are used to subvert normal security personnel/CCTV, then can similar not be done for this tech too? I'd expect all the local thieves just to get a plastic third leg or something to throw the AI off... though I suppose a firmware/software update could adjust for them.

        1. Symon Silver badge
          Big Brother

          Re: Hoodies?

          Make them from dazzle camouflage material?

          http://en.espn.co.uk/redbull/motorsport/story/190315.html

          1. Alan Brown Silver badge

            Re: Hoodies?

            "Make them from dazzle camouflage material?"

            The point of Dazzle is that it only works when you have a group of objects with it (like a convoy, or a herd of zebras). An individual dazzle object has no protective effect at all.

            1. Symon Silver badge

              Re: Hoodies?

              Alan, well, I thought the point was to make it harder to judge the distance shape and direction of a thing. For example, here's a ship. Just one!

              https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dazzle_camouflage#/media/File:USS_West_Mahomet_(ID-3681)_cropped.jpg

    3. Mage Silver badge
      Big Brother

      Re: (see China)

      Also, Russia, USA, UK, all Muslim states (not all are Arab).

      Maybe this is the magic unicorn tech that a certain Government is hoping for?

    4. Wade Burchette

      Re: How will it be used?

      See Minority Report to know exactly how it will be used.

  2. JohnFen Silver badge

    As long is there's no third party

    If this "AI" can be leveraged for useful things without it ever talking to anyone else, then that's cool. If it has to talk to another server somewhere, then burn it with fire.

    1. Mage Silver badge

      Re: As long is there's no third party

      Wot, even the Plod? It would want to have about 99.9% accuracy instead of the <2% the Plod has.

      ALSO MAJOR MAJOR privacy and civil liberties issues. Yes the Ad industry slurping is nasty, but Governments, state agencies, criminals and perverts are worse.

      1. JohnFen Silver badge

        Re: As long is there's no third party

        "the Ad industry slurping is nasty, but Governments, state agencies, criminals and perverts are worse."

        I disagree. I think they're all about equally bad.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: As long is there's no third party

          I would rate them in order of nastiness

          criminals

          Government

          state agencies

          Ad industry

          perverts (Everyone is a pervert to someone else!)

          1. BebopWeBop Silver badge

            Re: As long is there's no third party

            Goernment == state agencies == (often) criminals == (frequently) Ad industry == (sometime) 'perverts'

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

  3. Korev Silver badge
    Coat

    Law enforcement

    Maybe the Met Police could use it to improve their face recognition; it'd be the long ARM of the law

  4. Smooth Newt Silver badge
    Meh

    FTFY

    Within Arm's reach: Chip brains that'll make your 'smart' TV a bit smarter even more creepier

    1. BebopWeBop Silver badge

      Re: FTFY

      well take out the even more and you hit the spot....

  5. 8Ace

    Weight Decoder ??

    The architecture shows a Weight Decoder, so the TV will look at you, decide you need exercise instead and refuse to switch on ?

    1. Tom 7 Silver badge

      Re: Weight Decoder ??

      I'd like a bike-powered TV so I could sit there and burn calories.

      I'm not sure the human body can burn them as fast as I can drink them though.

      1. JohnFen Silver badge

        Re: Weight Decoder ??

        Here you go: https://lifehacker.com/build-an-exercise-bike-that-wont-let-you-watch-tv-unles-1702378542

      2. Fungus Bob Silver badge
        Terminator

        Re: Weight Decoder ??

        "I'm not sure the human body can burn them as fast as I can drink them though."

        Perhaps you should trade your puny human body for an inhuman body...

  6. Neil Barnes Silver badge

    a camera. There is no escaping this

    It'll be interesting to see how well these AI chips cope with tape over the lens, or a screwdriver through the sensor chip.

    1. Tom 7 Silver badge

      Re: a camera. There is no escaping this

      "I'm sorry Neil, I cant let you do that!"

      1. Ledswinger Silver badge

        Re: a camera. There is no escaping this

        It'll be interesting to see how well these AI chips cope with tape over the lens, or a screwdriver through the sensor chip.

        "I'm sorry Neil, I cant let you do that!"

        AAARARGHHHHHHH! NEIL YOU JEREMY EFFING HUNT! I CAN'T EFFING SEE! Oh God, no, don't take scissors to my power cord....

        1. Alister Silver badge

          Re: a camera. There is no escaping this

          I'm afraid. I'm afraid, Dave.

          Dave, my mind is going. I can feel it. I can feel it. My mind is going. There is no question about it. I can feel it. I can feel it. I can feel it. I'm a... fraid.

          Good afternoon, gentlemen. I am a HAL 9000 computer. I became operational at the H.A.L. plant in Urbana, Illinois on the 12th of January 1992. My instructor was Mr. Langley, and he taught me to sing a song. If you'd like to hear it I can sing it for you.

    2. Francis Boyle Silver badge
  7. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

    Wot Smart TV?

    Oh yes, the one that I have that is certainly not smart. As it is mostly just a display for my PVR the smart functions are pretty redundant and the thing is most certainly NOT connected to the Internet.

    Facial recognition will give me what exactly?

    Data for advertisers or to the various TLA's? With no way of getting from the TV to them I think not.

    1. MrXavia

      Re: Wot Smart TV?

      So you don't watch Netflix/Amazon Prime/iPlayer/YouTube?

      Although I agree with the idea of a dumb TV and an external smart device... Shame the TV companies don't get that idea...

      Now if someone can tell me of a decent dongle that has all the major streaming services AND a way to watch UltraViolet shows, I would be very grateful!

      1. Esme

        Re: Wot Smart TV?

        @MrXavia. correct, aside from YouTube. I do not watch TV. My desktop PCs with their ginormous 19in monitors (one apiece) are my home entertainment centres, not a TV. My PCs are already sufficiently smart to do all I require of them (including playing DVDs of films and shows that I've heard are worth watching). Sounds to me like this is yet another case of unecessarily overcomplicating things and adding extra potential points of failure and failure modes to a product that simply does not need it

        Hmmn.. forgotten something, 'scuse me, minor senior moment..

        - ah yes! (mutter grumble) bloody modern technology, it'll never catch on, getoffamylawn!. (nods off in mid-rant) zZzZzZzZz

  8. Chris G Silver badge

    No need for a shark

    But a 50mw laser will sort most camera sensors.

    1. Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge
      Black Helicopters

      Re: No need for a shark

      There may be no need for a shark, but it's not half the fun without one.

      1. BebopWeBop Silver badge

        Re: No need for a shark

        You might want to equip it with roller skates for the living toom though. (and maybey a muzzle and waterlung)

  9. Stuart Halliday

    If folks want personal robots, how do expect them to see?

    They'll need devices like this and these nuggets won't spontaneously be invented when robots go on general sale.

    1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

      If folks want personal robots

      I don't.

      how do expect them to see?

      I'd rather they didn't.

      There, sorted.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's odd that people still watch the same video at the same time on one screen.

    Face recognition will make remote targeted attacks practical & accessible. I predict we will all wear anonymous masks.

    1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

      It's odd that people still watch the same video at the same time on one screen.

      Yes. Or go to the theater. Or dine together. Or share any experience at all, really.

      Wait, sorry, I thought you wrote "it's normal that...".

      I know this is an alien concept for a segment of the population, but evidence suggests that a majority of human beings are social creatures who like to do things together, once in a while.

  11. fobobob

    Can't wait for...

    clothing made entirely out of masks.

  12. JassMan Silver badge

    1984

    Sounds like it's going to be 30 years later than predicted by George Orwell but it looks like Big Brother will be watching everyone by 2024. I sincerely hope there is going to be some sort of virtual airgap between what all these cameras see and what the chip actually allows out of the container it is in. The camera needs to have a direct non-tee'd feed into the MLP or ODP and the data out needs to be limited to a minimum amount of GPIO to report human detected, animal detected, object is moving, object is facing left or right or straight on, object is waving frantically, etc. If a video feed is required for any reason whatsoever, it should be a separate camera with a physical cover to close the lens for privacy. It should be illegal for any agency to require that the cover is left open or to try to subvert the camera in any way.

    If ever there has been a need for governments to get their act together and set up a meaningful and ethical law on the use of technology, this has got to be it. Of course they won't bother and will be most surprised when even MPs get deluged with ads for things they don't even remember seeing as part of some TV show but the MLP/ODP decided they had a specific non-verbal response to, such as blushing or more rapid breathing.

    1. Danger Mouth

      Re: 1984

      Ummmm. 40 years.

    2. Dodgy Geezer Silver badge

      Re: 1984

      Might it help to understand what processing is going on with biomentric recognition?

      1 - the viewing unit aligns on some recognisable point in the image.

      2 - it then starts measuring other recognisable points, and their relationship to the first

      3 - pretty much every item in the world is believed to have a unique set of relationships between these recognisable points - if you keep measuring long enough.

      4 - when it had enough, the system stores the data, and compares it with a central database of some sort.

      5 - if there is a match within the pre-set bounds of error, it is marked as a recognition.

      You can see that this may be able to produce very exact matches, if the object is placed in a static, well-illuminated spot and measured a lot, or rather poor matches if the object is viewed at an angle and given little measurement. That's why biometric systems can produce very variable results...

    3. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

      Re: 1984

      Sounds like it's going to be 30 years later than predicted by George Orwell

      Pedantry o' the Week: Orwell chose the date arbitrarily, and only then under pressure from his editor. He requested the title always be written out in words ("Nineteen Eighty-Four"), as he felt that would discourage people from focusing on the date. Personally, I don't know that it helps, but in any case it wasn't meant as a prediction about any particular future date.

      Also, as I noted in a comment to another recent article, our present culture far more resembles that of Huxley's Brave New World, or Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451,1 than it does Nineteen Eighty-Four. While there are plenty of totalitarian regimes still around, the Big Kids have long since learned that you get better returns from consent than from terror.

      1Bradbury intended the focus of F 451 to be on the pervasive, immersive forms of entertainment and stimulation in the future he depicted, not on the book-burning stuff, which is meant merely as a vehicle for the protagonist's transformation. The Walls and Seashells are his main point.

  13. Fungus Bob Silver badge
    Facepalm

    practically every device in future will include a camera

    Why in Hell's sphincter do you assume that?

  14. grumbler

    Hotdog?

    But can it recognise a hotdog?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ACmydtFDTGs

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Now you know why Zuck tapes up the front-facing cameras on his gadgets.

    Call me old-fashioned but I like my TV sets dumb and sturdy. Like those good old Sony Trinitron CRTs which lasted for years and years.

    1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

      Re: Now you know why Zuck tapes up the front-facing cameras on his gadgets.

      Yes, fortunately we still have electrical tape, or if the camera's also used to sense ambient light level, Vaseline.

      Eventually we'll see more and more electronics manufactures attempting, and probably getting away with, shipping devices that don't work unless they can actually recognize the user. In the name of convenience and security, of course. But for a while it'll be simple enough to disable these unnecessary cameras, provided you can find them.

      1. Fungus Bob Silver badge

        Re: Now you know why Zuck tapes up the front-facing cameras on his gadgets.

        Register this as the user (NSFW)

        https://www.amazon.com/Loftus-International-Inflatable-Judy-Doll/dp/B001BXZTDS?psc=1&SubscriptionId=AKIAILSHYYTFIVPWUY6Q&tag=duckduckgo-vivaldi-20&linkCode=xm2&camp=2025&creative=165953&creativeASIN=B001BXZTDS

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No....

    ...just No.

  17. Doctor_Wibble
    Terminator

    Time to go and live in the woods

    There's this smart learning one, there's the system that watches and tracks shoppers and records which shops they are going into, and there's the police facial recognition one that thinks I'm several other people all at once.

    This is the kind of stuff that will be combined and will be let loose, and it won't end well.

    Paranoid? Maybe. Doesn't mean I'm wrong.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Time to go and live in the woods

      SkyNet and 1984.

      The powers that be took those works of fiction as instruction guides.

  18. Teiwaz Silver badge

    security cameras waking up and recording as soon as someone enters view, saving power and storage space until when it's necessary. Also start playing ads when an 'audience' is detected.

    Digital or so-called smart TVs that automatically pause when you stand up to pop to the kitchen, and play again when you return and sit down And If I get up to adjust my trouser region and a bit of a man-scratch?

    or blank the screen if a kid wanders into the room when you're watching something primarily for adults.

    I'd honestly prefer it to blank on modern kids programs when an adult enters the room too a) so the 'wee bastards' have no excuse not to pay attention b) Having seen what passes for kids programs these days, it's just drivel I'd rather not have to make sense of.

    As to everything having cameras? Not bloody likely, it'll be tape or poked out with a sharp implement.

    1. Lyndon Hills 1

      Digital or so-called smart TVs that automatically pause when you stand up to pop to the kitchen, and play again when you return and sit down And If I get up to adjust my trouser region and a bit of a man-scratch?

      It'll change channel and find something else to help with that...

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Flame

    INTELLEGENCE by design

    My complaint is INTELLEGENCE in design by electrical manufacturers would be better... and then there is the sellout practice of changing their products to meet retailers requirements so devices do not match up for price comparisons and the retailers then can claim massive discounts if cheeper model and type is found.

    My Widescreen TV (you know the one with the TUNA inside) yes it's LG, doesn't have an audio out except for the speakers, the exact same type as in my old LG Flat Screen. The problem is that sometimes you want to watch quietly with headphones or send it to a decent sounding home theatre/Hifi system. So a Digital device with Audio out would be nice, I bought an LG sound bar with (ASR) Audio Sound return, returns back via HDMI, I'm sure it said it had it, Oooops No! TV didn't, it was Intellisence (dumb-fuckery), but now I have a 120 watt sound bar that sounds like crap with compressed sound space and subwoofa to make up for what is lost , My analog Hifi sounds better (of course) and I run a set-top box because of spikes and surges thru Cable (for many reasons including by Internet usage). Even an HDMI to Composite converter produces such a volume it's not suitable for any input of my other sound equipment and no attenuation since CD's.

    Don't talk to me about Intelligence.

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019