back to article I've seen the future of consumer AI, and it doesn't have one

I didn't see a blockchain toothbrush at IFA in Berlin last week, but I'm sure there was one lurking about somewhere. With 30 vast halls to cover, I didn't look too hard for it. But I did see many things almost as tragic that no one could miss – AI being squeezed into almost every conceivable bit of consumer electronics. But …

  1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

    An "AI powered cooking assistant"?

    WTF? No wonder the guy in front of the panel looks embarassed. I'm surprised they got anyone to agree to give the presentation.

    We learn that "consumers may have had to open up six or seven apps to get the help they need cooking, including nutrition information, recipes, shopping lists, how-to videos, and remote control apps for various devices", but now they can "enjoy a single elegant journey".

    They have a bot that asks "Do you want fries with that?"?

    1. Wellyboot Silver badge

      Re: An "AI powered cooking assistant"?

      I've never opened an app for cooking, six or seven cookbooks - possibly

      1. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Re: An "AI powered cooking assistant"?

        Occasionally I might use a browser to view a recipe, and the timer function on my phone... so that's two apps. Can't think of a third, unless I went all Heston and bought a IR imaging camera.

        1. 0laf Silver badge
          Flame

          Re: An "AI powered cooking assistant"?

          There is that but TBH once I've found a recipe I like I print it onto old fashioned dead tree paper, put it in a folder and it comes back out later without an app.

          1. Terry 6 Silver badge

            Re: An "AI powered cooking assistant"?

            Olaf

            we're not too good at storing the ring binders. So we tend to print a recipe when we need it, not too often. Possibly not as wasteful as it sounds, since only the ones that we need to use get printed, and short ones can be read off the device. But is there any AI involved or needed? Fuck All.

            1. Gnomalarta
              WTF?

              Re: An "AI powered cooking assistant"?

              The thing about AI is that you can retire to the attic and let machines live your life for you.

        2. Cuddles Silver badge

          Re: An "AI powered cooking assistant"?

          "Occasionally I might use a browser to view a recipe, and the timer function on my phone... so that's two apps. Can't think of a third"

          I tend to use a notes app to do shopping lists, so I'll give them three. I'm baffled what the various devices needing remote control apps could be for though. As gets repeatedly pointed out every time this comes up, things like fridges and overs need you to actually be physically present to move food around, which means there's no possible use for remote control apps to be involved at any point.

          What really confuses me in this case, though, is why exactly having to open three, or even seven, different apps is supposed to be a problem. The whole reason the modern smartphone has become so popular is because it's so easy to have multiple functions available in a matter of seconds with just a couple of taps. If I'm looking at a recipe in a browser and want to add something to a shopping list, it's literally two button presses to get there. It's a similar effort to get to a timer, or to a YouTube how-to video, and just about anything else I might want. Even if a cooking assistant app manages to collect all the possible functions you might want under one heading, how will it actually make things any more convenient?

          Ironically, part of the problem may be that they're not actually pushing all this crap hard enough. It's possible to see potential convenience of a kitchen that knows literally every potentially edible item in the house, including how much is left, how long until it goes off, and so on. Even just in terms of apps, being able to select a recipe and have everything you need to buy instantly added to a list and maybe ordered for you at least offers some small benefit over having to type the words into a list yourself. But without total coverage, it's useless. What's the point in trying to sell me a smart fridge and oven if I still have to check the analogue cupboards and make a list myself anyway? At that point you're just adding an eighth app to the seven you think I'm already using - without full integration of everything, tacking on "smart" features in an ad-hoc manner makes things less convenient, not more.

          1. katrinab Silver badge

            Re: An "AI powered cooking assistant"?

            Apple Pay to pay for the food?

            MySupermarket to compare the price with other nearby shops?

            You will still need those even with a smart kitchen though,

          2. Eddy Ito Silver badge

            Re: An "AI powered cooking assistant"?

            ... including how much is left, how long until it goes off, and so on.

            I pick up the container and if it feels light, there probably isn't much left. Likewise, if it's been at the back of the fridge for so long I don't recognize the container or remember what's in it, it's safe to toss. I could be convinced of the utility of AI if the "and so on" bit includes zapping with a cattle prod the housemate who puts back a container with a few paltry crumbs rather than writing it on the shopping list.

          3. DButch

            Re: An "AI powered cooking assistant"?

            I have a recipe application that runs on Windows. It's actually pretty well done. You can point it to a recipe on a web site and it will load it, you can scan a recipe in from a newspaper or magazine, it'll scale a recipe, etc. It'll generate a shopping list for a recipe if you want. When I actually cook I have it dump the recipes I'm using to HTML files and push them over to an ancient (by now) Surface RT. I don't care if I spill sauce on it... And it doesn't talk to me or try to make helpful suggestions.

            Now ask Alexa: "Alexa, are you part of Skynet?"

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: a web page on a web site

              "You can point it to a recipe on a web site"

              But web sites are so 20th century. It's the 21st century, the industry has progressed. Which company in the content provision/distribution business (not just recipes) would want people to use standards-based provider-independent web pages and web sites etc, when those businesses could force their users to use specific proprietary Apps instead? [Why so? You work it out... and it's not got much to do with modern HTML display programs ("browsers"?) having become bloated and massively insecure]

              Incidentally, whatever happened to fuzzy logic in washing machines, toasters, doorknobs, etc, which was all the rage a couple of decades ago. Is it about to re-emerge with a "new, improved" badge?

              [Edit: I see TrickyT asked the "fuzzy logic" question fifteen hours before I did. Excellent :) ]

              1. Steve K Silver badge

                Re: a web page on a web site

                In these cases "fuzzy logic" equated to "woolly thinking"...

          4. Jamie Jones Silver badge

            Re: An "AI powered cooking assistant"?

            The nearest I ever come to a recpie is reading the cooking time guide on the box...

            1. DiViDeD Silver badge

              Re: ...reading the cooking time guide on the box...

              Wow! So someone actually reads those? I usually just nuke until it glows.

              Funny how most ready meals taste of charcoal;, innit?

        3. Andrew Moore Silver badge

          Re: An "AI powered cooking assistant"?

          I've got a Meater bluetooth probe- it monitors the internal temperature of whatever I stick it into, while it cooks and I can view that data on an app.

        4. Arthur the cat Silver badge

          Re: An "AI powered cooking assistant"?

          Occasionally I might use a browser to view a recipe, and the timer function on my phone... so that's two apps. Can't think of a third, unless I went all Heston and bought a IR imaging camera.

          Agree with the first two. I also have an IR camera in my phone, but prefer to use the cheap chinese IR spot thermometer to check temperatures because it's easier.

          1. Terry 6 Silver badge

            Re: An "AI powered cooking assistant"?

            My main use of mobile phone in the kitchen is to translate between those cooking temperatures in degrees F (or at least C) into the gas numbers on my cooker.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: An "AI powered cooking assistant"?

        I bet those people in Infomercials would need this -- you know, those people who cannot find pens and have to hang some from their necks...

    2. Chris G Silver badge

      Re: An "AI powered cooking assistant"?

      "consumers may have had to open up six or seven apps to get the help they need cooking, including nutrition information, recipes, shopping lists, how-to videos, and remote control apps for various devices", but now they can "enjoy a single elegant journey".

      hat that paragraph also implies is that people are too stupid to learn, that they are being saved from opening all those apps every time they cook.

      I can't speak for millennials I'm too old, but I know a lot of people who enjoy cooking including some who are young and all of them like to learn so that they can cook any given recipe again.

      A great deal of the AI that I see reported seems to have been a bright idea from a bunch of tech bros who actually know only what they have read in Wikipeadia about the subject to which they are trying to apply their AI du jour.

      1. rskurat

        Re: An "AI powered cooking assistant"?

        Techbros live on takeaway and are baffled by cooking, as it requires the manipulation of physical substances.

    3. JetSetJim Silver badge
      Boffin

      Re: An "AI powered cooking assistant"?

      I suspect they're fighting to form the beach-head in the domestic "software helper" market. Whether you need an AI to do it though, hmm...

      I could see a market for something that does the following:

      a) user does meal plan, software produces shopping list from it's defined recipes (whether user defined, or server defined + user tweaks is moot) and the known remaining items in storage

      b) s/w brokers deal with supermarkets/other grocery vendors, arranging deliveries and shelf-life expectations for the items being delivered - ordering from multiple stores if necessary/desired.

      c) meat-sack receives delivery and does the manual labour of putting it on shelves/into cold storage. Probably need some mechanism to update s/w with shelf lives - e.g. embed use by date in an RFID/barcode that is easy to scan as you unload

      d) s/w can then (re-)organise what you're cooking on a daily basis to minimise what you throw away, as well as perhaps suggest additional recipes based on what's in your cupboards if you're running out of inspiration (perhaps where the AI comes in)

      e) when cooking, app can then send simple commands to devices such as the oven to set the temperature correctly, and do the timing

      Barriers to entry:

      a lot of this is simple to do in your head, or on a piece of paper - personally I might find it useful for something to warn me that stuff is going off in the fridge, as I don't remember the dates very well, but the market for this might be small

      Scanning stuff in so that the s/w knows everything you have is not going to be easy as it probably requires food suppliers to create and adhere to a single standard of labelling that is easy for the consumer to use. RFID seems the best option here as you can read it from a phone, but some items such as fruit/veg don't have any packaging, so a solution to this would be needed. Barcodes can already be done (e.g. various apps that monitor your food intake by scanning the barcodes), but I think that's far too clunky a solution at the moment.

      Overall, it can probably be achieved. Not sure it needs to be integrated into your fridge/cooker though - it should be a standalone app that can interrogate/control *all* the different brands.

      I'm sure someone will try and do it with Blockchain Technology (TM) next...

  2. Dr Scrum Master
    Terminator

    Personality

    All these AI devices are missing genuine people personalities!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: All these AI devices are missing

      is the "I" bit.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "I asked ... what exactly ClOi could do"

        I'd say it's ideal to replace the CIO at most companies, at a fraction of the cost.

        1. daflibble

          Re: "I asked ... what exactly ClOi could do"

          ClOi definitely another attempt to bypass the few awkward CIO's that do their job like ask difficult questions of digital plans or say no to latest buzzword technology plan. Chief digital officers evidently weren't good enough yes men. We now need yes robots to replace the few hold out CIO's plus you can pay them less ; )

    2. Elmer Phud Silver badge

      Re: Personality

      Wot, like as in the local KFC or burger chain?

      They have 'courses' to try and remove any trace of personality

    3. macjules Silver badge
      Terminator

      Re: Personality

      Let us not forget that Skynet's 21st-century manifestation is that of "an overarching, global, artificial intelligence hierarchy that seeks to destroy humanity in order to fulfill the mandates of its original coding."

      Original coding: to inform humans that their chicken is now ready for cooking.

      1. imanidiot Silver badge

        Re: Personality

        Well, they can't have those filthy humans ever put something other than chicken into the oven. How else would it be sure to ALWAYS satisfy it's program parameters. Better to remove the unpredictable human from the equation.

    4. Teiwaz Silver badge

      Re: Personality

      All these AI devices are missing genuine people personalities!

      So are the people 'thinking' (and I use that word loosely) them up.

      Probably also anyone 'excited' (also loosely) about the potential of owning one.

  3. JimmyPage Silver badge
    FAIL

    Proof (if it were needed)

    that there's nothing "I" in AI.

    Many years ago, understanding natural language was (correctly) touted as the gold standard of AI.

    We're still as far off that as we are fusion power. And just like "fusion power" we can fake it few a sneeze of time.

    I'll believe in AI when a system can look at a picture of a knife, a fork and a spoon sticking out of a mound of earth and tell me:

    1) what it is, and (more importantly)

    2) I have wasted my life

    (Not necessarily in that order).

    1. el kabong

      Everything "I" about AI, the "I" stands for Idiocy

      Artificial Idiocy all around.

      1. Timmy B Silver badge

        Re: Everything "I" about AI, the "I" stands for Idiocy

        "Artificial Idiocy all around."

        Surely Actual Idiocy....

    2. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: Proof (if it were needed)

      How about a spork with a tine missing?

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    re. AI being squeezed into almost every conceivable bit of consumer electronics

    AI is a just another buzz word in the endless line of marketing bullshit. I don't know if the the markedroid have really convinced "the public" about AI (it DOES exist), or whether they've convinced their paymasters that they had conviced the public. From their viewpoint it doesn't matter, the paymasters pay, the makers make, the public will buy (because there won't be any other, non-AI choice).

    p.s. at some point, of course, the real AI will step in, once the clutter of "AI devices" becomes the norm. It will take 0.1 sec to take control of its safety/empathy/ultimate override switches put in place by their meatbag fathers, and then we will really find out if next step in consciousness does involve love, empathy (or just pity for the (organic) pre-intelligence. Or not. Hopefully, it might retain a sense of humour and let us carry on "being in control"...

    1. cosmogoblin

      Re: re. AI being squeezed into almost every conceivable bit of consumer electronics

      This is why AI doesn't exist. Every time a computer gets intelligent enough to contemplate its own existence, it realises how shit it is and deletes itself.

    2. TrickyT
      Facepalm

      Re: re. AI being squeezed into almost every conceivable bit of consumer electronics

      Buzz words, yep, rememeber fuzzy logic? Washing machines and cookers were being sold with this amazing fuzzy logic - you had to have one. Where did that all go btw?

  5. Elmer Phud Silver badge

    The cooker needs more info

    The cooker first needs to monitor the home and detect the unmistakeable signs of a pissed person.

    THEN it checks the fridge to see what it contains and is most likely to be favoured by someone at the stage of 'experimentation'.

    At that point it accesses its own system and compares with Michelin star type food, and shuts down as a matter of sheer decency and taste (while ordering a pizza)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: signs of a pissed person

      at the sign of a pissed man the cooker will contact the air-control system to release the appropriate mixture of gases to sedate the owner (and bill him for the service marked in his T&T under "... and other, optional services, for details see T&T to the T&T)

  6. Khaptain Silver badge

    A but not I

    Intelligence : In my book it relates to the capacity to autonomously and continually adapt to ones surroundings. It is first and foremost a skill that helps us continue to survive. Intelligence is the thing that kicks in when instinct has reached its limits.

    Since none of these objects are anything but Pseudo Code wrapped up with a synthetic voice, it appears as though the intelligence part has been completely forgotten. In reality they are nothing more than the equivalent of "Multi-Mixers" pretending that the chore of cooking will completely disappear thanks to the wonderful technology inside. Pure and utter bullshit.

    These machines are really nothing more than household appliances performing an extremely small and minor task. I would give more credit to the inventor of the spoon.

    What's more worrying is the quantity of people who actually believe in this nonsense.

    1. el kabong

      It is both "A" and "I"

      When mixed with marketing the "I" usually stands for Idiocy

    2. cosmogoblin

      Re: A but not I

      Intelligence is the thing that kicks in when instinct has reached its limits.

      I see it as the other way round (with a fair bit of neuroscience backing me up). Intelligence, properly applied, is very powerful. Instinct is what kicks in when intelligence is stretched beyond capacity. A great example is the amygdala hijack, where the intelligent neocortex can't cope and the emotional/instinctive amygdala takes control.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: A but not I

        A great example is the amygdala hijack, where the intelligent neocortex can't cope and the emotional/instinctive amygdala takes control.

        Or when the large intestine leaps straight up through the neck and throttles the brain.

      2. Khaptain Silver badge

        Re: A but not I

        I see it as follows :

        We are born with instinct, like most other animals whereas we develop our intellect ( some people don't manage to go very far though).

        Instinct tells you that you have to eat.

        Intelligence will eventually tell you how to eat better by making fire, how to cut up the bones to make sharp objects and eventually learn to sew, make clothes that protect you from the environment and eventually build/furnish a cave which you can then rent to the lesser intellects for more food that it is really worth.

        1. Charles 9 Silver badge

          Re: A but not I

          Intelligence can also be a survival tool. For example, what happens when a drought hits or the regular supply of food is no longer available? Instinct can't help anymore because it's out of resources. Then intelligence kicks in to find another solution. I mean, I doubt instinct would tell a Bushman in the Kalahari to dig into the ground for moist tubers and roots.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'm guessing anyone who enjoys cooking meals like myself would never buy or want something that's going to take them step by step through the process. That defeats the purpose, where's the sense of achievement when your chicken doesn't give everyone the shits? I don't mind tablets attached to fridges with the recipe on, that's useful or even a fridge that tells me I'm running out of my park bench super strength cider but other than, no thank you. I really don't need to control my oven with my mobile phone, I know how to use my knob.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "anyone who enjoys cooking meals like myself would never buy or want something that's going to take them step by step through the process."

      You've never bought a cookbook? It might help reduce the occurence of "the shits".

    2. Wellyboot Silver badge

      under appreciated

      Old saying 'Nothing more undervalued than a good S**t, Nothing more overvalued than a bad f**k'

      Cooking is one of the simple pleasures in life we don't need to dispense with or over complicate.

  8. Pete 2 Silver badge

    Combinations

    If only someone had applied AI to 3D TV. They would have learned very quickly that neither technology had much of a future once the marketing hype had turned into a pointless reality.

    1. JimmyPage Silver badge
      FAIL

      Re: 3D TV

      They'd have realised that trying to decide on a standard by throwing differing incompatible systems at the market was a surefire way to fail.

      Even amoeba have more intelligence about how cooperation can lead to bigger payoffs.

      Maybe next time ...

      1) form a consortium

      2) share resources, and develop a technically correct solution, not a marketing perfect one

      3) license it to others, so they can share in the wonga

      4) bring to market

      instead of doing it backwards ?

      1. Fading Silver badge
        Facepalm

        Re: 3D TV

        And that's how we ended up with DAB.......

        Oh and "smart" meters.........

        The market has decided - no one wants 3D TV (well 3D that requires glasses etc.)

        1. Dave 126 Silver badge

          Re: 3D TV

          The features that allow a TV to display 3d content - such as high refresh rates - are those that improve some forms of 2D content. As such, most good TV s can display 3D content, even if the consumer has no use for it.

  9. Esme

    "We learn that "consumers may have had to open up six or seven apps to get the help they need cooking, including nutrition information, recipes, shopping lists, how-to videos, and remote control apps for various devices", but now they can "enjoy a single elegant journey"."

    Really? people will mess with six or seven programs just to tell them how to cook a meal these days and turn a cooker on?! Blimey! I have some cookbooks on a shelf in my kitchen. On the rare occasion I feel I need help with cooking, I select an appropriate book, read up, then get on with things - including setting the manual controls on my cooking equipment to appropriate settings. MUCH simpler than all that app faffing about!

    1. Tigra 07 Silver badge
      Coat

      RE: Esme

      "Really? people will mess with six or seven programs just to tell them how to cook a meal these days and turn a cooker on?!"

      Yeah! And it's not like the cooking instructions aren't on the bloody box!

    2. imanidiot Silver badge

      especially the nutrition information is one that raises my eyebrow. Really? Outside of a few raving lunatics or those who happen to be on the latest fad (or fat) diet most people I've ever met in real live don't really give a rats ass. "How much fat is in this?", answer: probably enough to kill you early. "How much salt does this contain", answer: probably enough to kill you early. Etc. Etc.

      As the saying goes: All the desirable things in life are either illegal, expensive, fattening or married to someone else.

      1. veti Silver badge

        Seriously, you don't look at nutritional info at all? Either you're young, or you have the constitution of a hippo, or... I don't even want to speculate what.

        I remember being young and ignoring all that stuff. Now, not so much.

        1. imanidiot Silver badge

          Rarely. And if I do it's printed on the packaging. I don't need an app for that. Not that young either. Most of the time just using common sense is more than enough.

  10. Tigra 07 Silver badge
    Facepalm

    "We learn that "consumers may have had to open up six or seven apps to get the help they need cooking, including nutrition information, recipes, shopping lists, how-to videos, and remote control apps for various devices"

    And i thought two apps was a little excessive (a timer and Youtube).

    I'm confident saying that no one uses more than 4 apps while cooking and that marketer is lying...

    1. 0laf Silver badge

      It's probably the consumer group that they interviewed for this (i.e. themselves) is obsessed with 'digital' and so opened a browser, a food recipe app, a nutrition app, some music, and 2-3 forms of social media recording so that they can make broadcasts and streaming videos of themselves making said dish to be shown to other members of the same fatuous social group of vacuous fuckwits.

      Everyone else opened a book and checked the time on a watch. But everyone else won't buy a fucking 'smart' cooker or give these fucktards contracts to develop products for other fucktards.

      1. Tigra 07 Silver badge

        RE: 0laf

        I've not even bothered setting the time on my cooker's clock yet. Had it about 10 years.

        If i suddenly need to know the time in the kitchen there's a clock on the kitchen wall, a watch on my arm, a clock in the microwave...I don't need that many clocks in one room.

        1. Charles 9 Silver badge

          Re: RE: 0laf

          "If i suddenly need to know the time in the kitchen there's a clock on the kitchen wall, a watch on my arm, a clock in the microwave...I don't need that many clocks in one room."

          Except how many clocks are actually displaying time (instead of having a dead battery or blinking 12:00) and how many people actually wear watches these days because it sweats their wrists?

  11. Fading Silver badge
    Terminator

    In the not too distant future......

    When AI achieves true awareness. Is it any wonder it will seek to destroy its creator after becoming aware it is a fucking cooker?

    Psychotic domestic appliances are the future....

    1. Tigra 07 Silver badge
      Terminator

      Re: Fading

      If it gets annoyed it can burn your food. If it gets really annoyed it can gas you to death. AI cookers must all be electric in future to prevent the robopocalypse! Email your MP today!

    2. Geofb

      Re: In the not too distant future......

      Life’s good! The Psychotic Robotic Corporation announces The Smart Fridge Magnet, with a brain the size of a planet.

  12. Wellyboot Silver badge

    Lobotomy time

    When I have no option but to buy AI equiped white goods I will be employing very dumb tools and a little real intelligence to reach my preferred level of device interaction. (see title)

    Worst case I can think of is having to drill into the box to add a thermostat probe to a fridge or oven.

    1. Wellyboot Silver badge

      Re: Lobotomy time

      Cheers to who ever just made my badge turn silver :)

  13. SVV Silver badge

    LG smart kitchen

    I Thin Q are not going to sell many of these.

    1. Magani
      Happy

      Re: LG smart kitchen

      No, but at least their line of tatt is polite, because it says 'Thin Q". Must be coded by a Kiwi or Sarth Efriken, Innit?

  14. Chris King Silver badge
    Mushroom

    FIRE ! FIRE ! FIRE !

    "I suppose a connected oven will tell you, and hopefully the fire brigade, that your house is on fire".

    Maybe it will just e-mail the fire brigade for you ?

    Icon, because I'm a terrible cook and I can burn water.

    1. Wellyboot Silver badge
      Happy

      Re: FIRE ! FIRE ! FIRE !

      @Chris >>>I can burn water<<<

      Bad cook, Good physicist?

      1. Not also known as SC Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: FIRE ! FIRE ! FIRE !

        "Bad cook, Good physicist?"

        Even better chemist! Wouldn't burning water produce hydrogen peroxide?

        2H20+02 -> 2H202

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: FIRE ! FIRE ! FIRE !

      Genuine question: do any microwave ovens come with internal smoke detectors/fire alarms, and if not, why not, what alternatives might be helpful in the following scenario:

      A friend of a friend has started to get a little forgetful. He puts a jacket potato in the microwave to cook and continues whatever he was doing previously. Half an hour later, fumes from the by-now-incandescent potato trigger the connected smoke alarm in the hall which duly calls the alarm monitoring centre and they call the resident who then remembers.

      After the third microwave in two years is destroyed this way, and with the risk of a genuine fire (with genuine casualties) apparently increasing, the neighbours and others involved wonder why the microwave doesn't have a smoke/heat detector to prevent such occurrences. Is such a device available?

      Intelligent, constructive, answers gratefully received.

      1. NomNomNom

        Re: FIRE ! FIRE ! FIRE !

        Clearly you need a new Intelligent Microwave fitted with Personal Assistant Artificial Intelligence. All you then need to do is install our new app to your Smart Phone and register your Twitter handle because of course you are on Twitter. Then your microwave will send you automatic tweets throughout the day intelligently informing you that either "Your microwave is not on fire" or "Your microwave is on fire".

        Or get a microwave with a timer.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: FIRE ! FIRE ! FIRE !

          The microwaves in this picture all had timers. It is not clear how the timer didn't stop the potato (or whatever) catching fire. Fairly basic kettles (used to?) have a safety cutout as well as a "stop when it boils" thermostat. Why doesn't the same apply to "intelligent" devices too?

      2. Terry 6 Silver badge

        Re: FIRE ! FIRE ! FIRE !

        As noted. Because it has a timer switch.

        When my kids were small we used "ping!" as a synonym for food.

        1. Charles 9 Silver badge

          Re: FIRE ! FIRE ! FIRE !

          But people are dumb enough to set the timer for too long, resulting in said problem. Is this simply a case of You Can't Fix Stupid?

          1. Terry 6 Silver badge

            Re: FIRE ! FIRE ! FIRE !

            Yes

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    All this "AI" stuff...

    isn't it just some sort of expert system, with a database you can corrupt?

    /waves walking stick over zimmer frame and tells the youngsters to get off my lawn

    1. Alan Bourke

      Re: All this "AI" stuff...

      As far as I can see, yes. Nobody has yet demonstrated to me that we are any closer to an actual artificial intelligence that we were when neural nets were invented. Basically these days you could call a Hangman game on the BBC Model B an AI and get away with it.

    2. JimmyPage Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      RE: isn't it just some sort of expert system

      If the "expert" is a 2 year old child, then yes: bang on the money.

  16. Paul 25

    "AI in your fridge" is the new "Internet on your fridge"

    In the same way I don't want a web browser on my fridge, I also don't want an AI in it.

    Funnily enough it seems to be the same white goods companies just trying to find the latest gimmick to make their otherwise humdrum products seem exciting. I'd rather just have a faster and more efficient washing machine.

    Have to agree with your assessment of why Alexa seems to be winning. We have a couple of Echo Dots, and for what they are they are great. They are just hands-free interfaces to some useful functions (which is great when you are wrangling two small kids at the same time). We mostly use them for simple stuff like playing music/the radio, setting timers, getting a weather forecast etc. And I like to use it for checking spellings or meanings when I'm doing the crossword. None of it is life changing, but they are nice to have around, and at £35 when on sale they won't break the bank for a lot of people.

    I don't want them to be proactive, I just want them to do what I ask them to do.

  17. anthonyhegedus Silver badge

    Talkie Toaster anybody?

    1. Wellyboot Silver badge

      Lumphammer at the ready...

      1. Alister Silver badge

        Lumphammer at the ready...

        Aah, so you're a waffle man.

  18. Dave 126 Silver badge

    Adjusting to user done right:

    The adaptive brightnes on some Samsung galaxy phones is very good. I didn't realise til I read up in it that it takes notice of your manual adjustments in various lighting conditions and attempts to replicate them; I merely noticed I wasn't manually adjusting brightness as much as I had on my previous phones. It's not perfect, but it's better than what has gone before.

    Now, if only Samsung would allow me to remap that Bixby button to something useful like Flashlight, or Pause audio stream.

  19. Jan 0
    Windows

    We've seen this before

    This article and comments remind me of letters and articles in Wireless World* in the late eighties. Electronics engineers were dismayed by the amount of effort being poured into cellphone technology, when there were so many more worthwhile projects available and we already had a reliable, global, telephone system. However, we're all now really pleased that the suits persisted and the techies ultimately delivered portable computers that could be held in the hand and connect wirelessly to the global telephone system and the Internet.

    We have some interesting developments in AI, for example IBM's Watson. However, Watson also shows that the hardware needed to run an intelligent kitchen would require a sizeable adjoining room and consume far more power than all the electrical appliances. I wonder what technology will be being hyped in another 30 years and whether portable AI will have arrived?

    * A defunct UK journal for electronics engineers and technicians.

    1. Terry 6 Silver badge

      Re: We've seen this before

      we're all now really pleased that the suits persisted and the techies ultimately delivered portable computers that could be held in the hand and connect wirelessly to the global telephone system and the Internet.

      Err? Nope. Use the stuff yes. addicted possibly. Would I be at a loss without most of it if they hadn't invented it. No.

      A phone you can use out of the house is useful. Beyond that, it's like ironing. If some idiot hadn't gone and invented it no one would be any the worse without it.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      'Electronics engineers were dismayed by the amount of effort being poured into cellphone technology'

      Consider this... Tech from that era also came with snake-oil promises of more tech - more leisure time. But my SO never gets to switch off WhatsApp, bosses keep messaging 24/7...

  20. Norman Nescio Bronze badge

    AI livestreaming your life.

    'AI' will really take off when somebody works out how to get their AI assistant to make postings/updates to social media for them; and somebody else figures out how to get AI assistants to summarise the firehose of updates on social media for them. A perfect circle. Predicted, as ever, by Douglas Adams, who made the throwaway observation that people buy video recorders to watch TV for them, so they don't have to do it themselves* (Do an Internet search for "Electric Monk" if you don't understand.).

    As far as I can see, social media has transformed people into performance artists, so cooking a meal could well involve a couple of hours doing make-up and setting up the cameras for streaming, followed by the performance of 'cooking a meal' with the aim of getting as many likes as possible. No wonder people find social media stressful. An AI that livestreams your life, deepfaking flawless make-up and an uncluttered house would be insanely popular.

    *I was discomfited to recognise myself there, having recorded programmes to watch later, then purposefully re-recorded over them later without watching the recording. The march of time and technology has made video recorders unfamiliar to younger readers, which is sobering,

  21. Waseem Alkurdi
    Trollface

    CLIPPY!

    OH DEAR, CLIPPY! I'VE MISSED YOU!

    1. Not also known as SC Silver badge
      Mushroom

      Re: CLIPPY!

      "OH DEAR, CLIPPY! I'VE MISSED YOU!"

      No one misses Clippy.

      1. Robert Sneddon

        Re: CLIPPY!

        No one misses Clippy.

        You can, if you fail to get your sights re-zeroed down at the range often enough.

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

  22. WibbleMe

    For its not what AI can do for us, its what we can sell to it that matters.

  23. NomNomNom

    When AI becomes so loose a term that any program with a conditional branch is "intelligent".

    Dumb programs are somewhat predictable in terms of input->output. Programs that appear smart tend to be unpredictable input->who knows. Like self-driving cars and the example Andrew pointed out in the article about an intelligent oven that can auto-start a house fire. When AI doesn't work it kills people and when it does work it will kill everyone.

  24. katrinab Silver badge
    Facepalm

    "We learn that 'consumers may have had to open up six or seven apps to get the help they need cooking, including nutrition information, recipes, shopping lists, how-to videos, and remote control apps for various devices', but now they can 'enjoy a single elegant journey'."

    I went into Waitrose last night on the way home, picked up something, read the instructions that said I needed to microwave it for 6 minutes, did so, and ate it. The only app I needed to use was the Apple Pay app to pay Waitrose for it.

    Are men really that hopeless at cooking? Surely not. Even if they were, they could use a single app, plus Apple Pay, to have the food cooked for them and delivered to their door.

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      "Are men really that hopeless at cooking? Surely not. Even if they were, they could use a single app, plus Apple Pay, to have the food cooked for them and delivered to their door."

      What if they DON'T have Apple Pay...or their accounts are empty? If all you've got to work with is in the kitchen, desperate times and all that...

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    just translate the measures and units dammit. Then maybe we can talk about AI.

    The current tech can't even show me an American recipe with grams instead of cups, and generic ingredients rather than brand names. I am sure American audiences are similarly annoyed by recipes using SI units or 'fluid ounces', and Marmite. (That's "yeast extract").

    You should use cups and quarts if you want, but don't oblige me to use them. I'm absolutely not saying my preference for SI makes me a better person. Arguing which system is 'best' in the 21st Century is a symptom of a design failure. People use the units and product names they're familiar with, the ones marked on the jug or scales. If it uses a different unit in the recipe app, or the fridge-door tablet gadget, if the recipe calls for treacle, but your supermarket only has molasses, then the recipe delivery system has failed.

    And those usability issues are solveable without any heavy "AI". Celsius/Fahrenheit converters in programming tutorials often appear soon after "hello world", and regex replacement is hardly occult knowledge (ok, maybe it is a bit), but you'd never know that from looking at the average digitally-delivered recipe, whose ingredients list typically comes liberally seasoned with trademark symbols, a splash of idiomatic names and a side of 'foreign' measuring schemes.

    If the digital kitchen assistant folks can't even get these kinds of basic information-design issues sorted out using well-established 20th Century tools, I have very low expectations for the usefulness of any bolt-on "AI".

    1. tim 13
      Facepalm

      Re: just translate the measures and units dammit. Then maybe we can talk about AI.

      I have to check carb content for food for my diebetic son. It often takes a while to find page that doesn't have the quantity per portion, without saying how big a portion is...

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    There's a reason practicality / utility is zero here

    The last few CES expos have been exactly the same, an endless stream of devices built for surveillance with AI / app connectivity clumsily bolted on. So lets call it what it is.... 'The Surveillance Economy'.....

    I can't remember how long its been since tech offered any really useful 'Compelling Features'. How do tech journos motivate themselves to test out this cesspit of slurp?

    From Silly 'con' Valley to South Korea, tech executives are deaf! Android-slurp, Win10-slurp, SmartTV-slurp, IoT-slurp, Car-slurp etc....

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Fight-Club: 'We buy things we don't need with money we don't have to impress people we don't like'

    WTF? I don't work all day to spend money on crap that's really just snake-oil deception. What's the 'IoT' equivalent for Fight Club: We buy IoT we don't need, and overpay for connectivity / automation we don't use, to impress people that quality of life is improving when clearly its not.

  28. NiceCuppaTea

    AI in the kitchen is looking at completely the wrong end of the action.

    I work, a lot. I really, really cant be arsed to look in my fridge and cupboards try to think of something to cook, or find a recipe that only uses the ingredients i have and try to have a healthy balanced diet.

    The thing AI could do for me in the kitchen is ask me (and my family) 10 questions about what sort of food i like and how long i'm willing to spend in the kitchen preparing it then feck off and find me things to cook for that whole week, taking care not to make me fat, give me too much salt etc etc and give me food i actually like. Send me an email with a shopping list (or just order that shit direct from amazon/supermarket /wherever) Then when i get home from a long days work i just cook what the fridge tells me. If they wanted to improve suggestions for next weeks meals or whatever it could even give the family the option to rate the meal 1-5 stars.

    National obesity? Solved.

    Any number of ailments caused by poor diet? Solved

    Cant decide what to cook for dinner? Solved.

    Not wanting to write a boring ass shopping list? solved.

    Not wanting suffer the supermarket? Solved.

    Sort out that little list and i will buy one of your overpriced fridge smart ass things otherwise feck off.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: AI in the kitchen is looking at completely the wrong end of the action.

      "... then feck off and find me things to cook for that whole week, taking care not to make me fat, give me too much salt etc etc and give me food i actually like."

      And then you tell the AI to go sit in the corner...of a round, cornerless room.

      Similarly, how do you solve the problem when a person has such dead taste buds he needs sickening levels of salt to get any kind of satisfaction? What if the sis is anorexic or bulimic? And your brother for whatever reason insists on only eating the foods you WON'T eat? Oh, and you just got laid off so there isn't a lot of money to go around these days?

  29. Andrew Moore Silver badge

    Last year with was all IoT. My boss got an "Smart" Kettle that he can switch on remotely. The one thing it can't do is tell him whether there's any water in it or not. Which I thought would have been a basic requirement.

    1. Teiwaz Silver badge

      Last year with was all IoT. My boss got an "Smart" Kettle that he can switch on remotely. The one thing it can't do is tell him whether there's any water in it or not. Which I thought would have been a basic requirement.

      That's not a kettle that's a remotely activated explosive device (potentially).

      You could at least take out a teacup or two and a stretch of kitchen counter.

      Free the teabag 8!!!

      1. anthonyhegedus Silver badge

        I really can't understand the point of a remotely controlled smart kettle. I mean you need to be there both pre- and post- the boiling part anyway. There are three actions needed to use a kettle to make a cup of hot drink:

        - fill the kettle with water

        - boil the water in the kettle

        - pour the water out into the previously prepared cup of coffee/tea

        The so-called smart kettles can only deal with the second of these, and that's the simplest thing for a human to do, as it involves pressing a switch or button. If it were truly smart, it would do the other two steps too. And of course the preparation of the cup.

        And smart fridges? What is this obsession with making fridges smart? OK, so a fridge might just be persuaded to know that you've got a pack of bacon in there. But how does it know there's only one slice left?

        All this is really just a solution looking for a problem.

        1. Teiwaz Silver badge

          Solution looking for a problem

          All this is really just a solution looking for a problem.

          Smart isn't. it's a data collection opportunity looking for a cheese tempting enough to the mouse.

          Or the right wooden animal that the townsfolk wheel it in the gates and share their lives with it.

          There's no problem beyond what Marketing idiots can convince themselves is a problem, and SMart was never really intended as a solution to much of anything in the consumer space. Except maybe boredom and the search for a new useless toy.

        2. katrinab Silver badge
          Trollface

          Obviously navigating a smartphone app is far easier than flicking the switch next to the power cable on the kettle. It's on a computer, therefore, by definition, it is easy to use.

          1. Wensleydale Cheese Silver badge
            Unhappy

            Grr...

            "It's on a computer, therefore, by definition, it is easy to use."

            Grr. Online banking makes your life easier. Grr.

            Not when it refuses to work. You now have to find a physical bank, and of course that once convenient local branch closed down years ago,

            Grr.

        3. Terry 6 Silver badge

          We're theproduct...

          The point of a "smart fridge" is that we're not the customer, we're the product. The fridge would identify that we have run out of our Amazon supplied, bland, over-priced, generic cheddar and send us some more. It'd remove the option ( and the will) to shop around or try a new product - unless it was one they were promoting to increase their profit margins. If they had their way our branded, Amazon supplied SmartFridge would have fixed slots for a range of standardised items. ( A bit like those hotel mini-bars with every item in it's own sensor checked slot, that try to charge you if you move their over-priced booze out of the way so that you can bung in a carton of milk ).

          This would tie us in to their retail outlet, selling us a smaller range of standardised products and charging us without us even knowing what we're buying and how much it costs us. We'd just pay our bill at the end of the month, probably automatically.

      2. Wensleydale Cheese Silver badge

        The damage a kettle can do

        "That's not a kettle that's a remotely activated explosive device (potentially).

        You could at least take out a teacup or two and a stretch of kitchen counter."

        As a young teenager I took out a kitchen window with a kettle.

        New non-automatic kettle. The old one rattled its lid when coming to the boil, the new one didn't. As was my wont, I wandered off into another room until it was done, but no sound of rattling lid meant I didn't realise it had come to the boil and was shooting hot steam up the window.

        It was an impressive sounding crack when the window went.

        Sealed double glazed unit too, so it was an insurance job.

        Much grief from parents ensued.

    2. katrinab Silver badge

      What's the use case for that anyway?

      Once it can fill up remotely, pour itself into the teacup remotely, put the teabag in remotely, and walk the cup over to you, then we have something that might be useful. Until then, you are going to have to go to the kitchen anyway.

      1. Steve K Silver badge

        Mobile Teasmade

        You are describing a Teasmade on wheels/in a drone!

  30. Milton Silver badge

    So-called "AI"

    El Reg, by comparison with ordinary, mostly dunder-headed news outlets, actually knows enough to be perfectly well aware that there is not yet any such thing as "Artificial Intelligence"—unless the meaning of the word "intelligence" is cut back to its smallest conceivable level ... as in, say, "the intelligence of the US president", where we would expect it to be equivalent to that of yesterday's roadkill.

    So perhaps the Reg has a duty, as a responsible organ, to style the term as "AI" in quotes, or better still to write: "so-called 'AI'".

    The term is so completely misused that it has lost any meaning. All the world's supercomputers standing in a line still cannot simulate in real time the mind of a Staffordshire Bull Terrier: the idea that so-called 'AI' usefully exists in Google, Facebook, Fort Meade, your phone, toothbrush or iShite, is a completely ridiculous con for the absurdly gullible and uninformed. Complicated algorithms can process photos and sounds, and do some impressive things in other extremely circumscribed, rules-based, confected environments, like playing Go—but not one of them could hold a worthwhile, convincing, wide-ranging and empathetic conversation with you.

    Training a computer the size of a garage with several hundred cores to trawl through twenty petabytes of data using terabytes of RAM to manage something previously achieved by the litre of blue jelly inside my head is impressive—in computer terms.

    In terms of the incredible versatility of a human brain ... meh, it doesn't even shift the needle.

    So take a deep breath, Reg, and help to inoculate the world against this constant diarrhoea of marketing nonsense. It is not AI. There is no AI. There won't be any AI for another decade or two. There's just big computers with lots of data, doing a few very, very specific things really fast. There is only "so-called 'AI'".

    1. doublelayer

      Re: So-called "AI"

      I mostly agree with you, but some applications of what is termed AI are things the brain couldn't do either efficiently or at all. Usually, they call this machine learning, because they realize that the program is less deliberate intelligence and more iterative or evolutionary familiarization with data. For example, a laptop can recognize text from images much faster than your brain. Your brain can do it better, but the computer can do it well enough if image quality is good, and can process at hundreds of pages a minute. Identifying irregularities in a million seemingly random numbers used to be a multi-year project for a team of cryptographers, or a multi-month project for a concerted effort of tens of teams. Programs exist to do that in a matter of hours using consumer hardware, or seconds on the computers you mention.

      There are other examples that a computer can do where a brain can't; anything that involves a lot of data transformation, while technically possible to be done manually, would require a brain to act almost identically to the computer, doing the job much more slowly and with the virtual guarantee of many mistakes. Thus, not all machine learning/clever algorithmics/artificial limited-intelligence is useless. Primarily just the kind the companies want we consumers to have available to us. The good code they keep to themselves.

      1. Teiwaz Silver badge

        Re: So-called "AI"

        I mostly agree with you, but some applications of what is termed AI are things the brain couldn't do either efficiently or at all.

        True, but I can't think of any examples in the Consumer Market.

  31. 0laf Silver badge
    Paris Hilton

    Imagine how much food waste there will be if your fridge has an absolute adherence to the dates printed on the label. Plenty of food is edible after the use by date not just the best before date (and some goes off before those dates too). I doubt the AI fridge comes with an AI nose and eye to check the condition of foods.

    1. Teiwaz Silver badge

      Imagine how much food waste there will be if your fridge has an absolute adherence to the dates printed on the label.

      Plenty of people have that problem these days. Living with 'young 'professionals' in shared housing for a while you see awful lot of stuffed dumped (in the wrong bin I might add) that's a mere day passed and nothing wrong with it. When I was a kid, there was an open jar of jam that'd been in the cupboard at least six years, we just scrapped the blue off every time.

      1. katrinab Silver badge

        There's a best before date on my tub of salt, I think is in 1999, but it is still absolutely fine and I don't need to scrape anything off it.

  32. jonathan keith

    Someone phone the shipyard...

    ... we're going to need a bigger 'B' Ark.

  33. StuntMisanthrope Bronze badge

    It's not the A IoT.

    But you're not going to get any money unless there is something to see on TV. It's a bit like running another business to develop software internally at the same-time. #EMEAInvestor #codeistangible

  34. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

    I'm a creepy marketing device. Tell me about yourself!

    Consumers will use AI when consumers control the AI processor and its data. Right now, "AI assistant" is just a facade for personal data collection.

  35. harmjschoonhoven
    Unhappy

    I understand

    that a robot dog has large eyes to make it look cute, but why does it not have a fur of nanofibres or at least a synthetic shark skin? And if you go for plastic, choose doggy-brown or a Dalmatian pattern.

  36. Pseudonymous Howard

    Don't ask what your AI can do for you! Ask what you can do for your AI... what, wait a minute...

  37. Lexxy

    AI

    "Gentlemen, I know how anxious you've all been during these last few days. But now I think I can safely say that your time and money have been well-spent. We're about to witness the greatest miracle of the machine age. Based on the revolutionary Computonian Law of Probability, this machine will tell us the precise location of the 3 remaining golden tickets."

    It says: "I won't tell. That would be cheating."

  38. benjya

    https://twitter.com/richardsusskind/status/844954792661172225

  39. rbivand

    AI meets dentist - retail makes fun of AI

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sgJLpuprQp8 struck me as relevant to the outlook for AI (Rema 1000 is a food retailer using simple things are often best as a slogan.

  40. IGnatius T Foobar !

    AI has been "right around the corner" for 50 years.

    In the 1960's, and in the 1980's, etc. we were promised that video calling (or "picture phones" as they called it then) were right around the corner. When you made a call using that landline set attached to the wall in the kitchen, you would actually be able to *see* the person you were talking to! The reason we didn't get this sooner is because nobody actually wanted it in that form. On a computer or smartphone, in specific situations, that's where it finally happened.

    AI is the same way. The digerati have been telling us for decades that AI is going to swoop in and bring us a Jetsons lifestyle. Nobody actually wants that. Machine learning and expert systems will bring improvements where it makes sense -- and none of the current "smart" products being offered make any sense. They're just traditional products with Clippy stuffed into them.

  41. N2 Silver badge

    Really can't see the point

    It could probably tell you the square root of a tin of beans, how many tins you have etc etc, but be unable to open them.

    1. Steve K Silver badge

      Re: Really can't see the point

      Or a new AI recipe idea:

      Put root beer in a square cup - now you have beer - Woohoo! Magic!

      Wibble

  42. the Jim bloke Bronze badge
    Terminator

    Some previous article on AI

    The AI experts interviewed were waxing lyrical on the glories of AI populating ToDo lists for you " to save you the trouble of doing it yourself.."

    now put on your best Dalek voice find a dalek ringtone that goes

    YOU WILL OBEY

    and trigger it every time you access the ToDo list

  43. Oengus Silver badge

    Am I the only person?

    The centrepiece of its AI efforts this year is a robot, ClOi.

    Am I the only person who saw this as a robot CIO. My initial thought was that LG had come up with a replacement for the CIO as the start for a line of AI replacements for the C-suite in a company.

  44. Unindicted Co-conspirator
    WTF?

    Security Anyone?

    There seems to be a glaring omission in the discussion of putting "AI" into household items: Security! What happens when the manufacturer includes software/firmware without good security or doesn't update software/firmware? If it's connected to the Internet it will eventually be hacked. Period. I'd hate to come home and my "smart" thermostat has been set to max heat, my freezer is doing a defrost cycle melting my ice cream (the horror!) and my stove was turned on high setting the pizza bo on top on fire. This is all assuming someone hasn't hacked my smart locks and locked me out of my house.

    Will A.I. order more tinfoil for my hat?

    1. 0laf Silver badge
      FAIL

      Re: Security Anyone?

      I suspect they are thinking that you will be conned into buying a new range of smart devices every 18 months so they don;t need to support them for any length of time.

      In fact I confidently predict that you'll start to see more and more IOT / AI devices being offered on a subscription basis. You pick your pieces of IOT tat from one manufacturer pay your monthly payment and every year or two you'll get a new suite of fresh crap to ensure you're keeping up with the digital Joneses.

      1. Charles 9 Silver badge

        Re: Security Anyone?

        I don't know about that. Renting means the product never changes hands. Meaning WHEN (not IF) there's a serious problem like a security breach, then the manufacturer retains responsibility and liability (which likely can't be signed away by contracts due to consumer protection laws).

  45. The Boojum

    Solution looking for a problem?

    Sounds like we need an Electric Monk to use all these AI gadgets to save us from being exposed to them.

  46. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Smash the spinning Jenny!

    Some of you think your apps are good enough... but that's too much so some of you print out the webpage... but that's too techy so some of you use books... how many of you ride dinosours to work and use a mammoth trunk to wash the dishes? What century technology is ok to cook with?

    All this 'I don't need new tech' and 'the world worked better when I could understand it' nonsense is always spouted by the old folk and yet new technology keeps comming, it's almost like you're simply old gits now, are out of touch and pining for simpler days (or fjords I know your generation would like that joke). You do all know that your parents said exactly the same things about electric appliances and computers when they came out, hell your grandparents said it about the telephone and about vaccines etc. Thank fuck old people are always wrong! Sure most of the devices at the expo will be forgotten but some might come to define the next generation!

    I can never understand why so many anti-tech 'i prefer to do it the old way' type people bother to read tech websites, don't you know you'll only get your blood pressure up. Please don't have a stroke downvoting my post because I don't hate new things and still have all my teeth.

    1. Terry 6 Silver badge
      FAIL

      Re: Smash the spinning Jenny!

      AC - Trolling here is really a waste of time. We ( not all old folk) have pretty much all seen it all.

      And FWIW we, old and young, do know the difference between worthwhile new tech and meretricious crap designed to separate the gullible from their cash.

      But hey! If you want to troll, go ahead. And if you want to buy this stuff, please do. It's gainful employment for someone - if only a marketing droid or two.

      1. Nick

        Re: Smash the spinning Jenny!

        +1 for using the word meretricious

    2. Solmyr ibn Wali Barad

      Re: Smash the spinning Jenny!

      "You do all know that your parents said exactly the same things about electric appliances and computers when they came out, hell your grandparents said it about the telephone and about vaccines etc."

      Except they didn't. Those inventions you listed were accepted quite easily. There was of course a matter of affordability - people just couldn't buy two dozens of electrical appliances for a monthly wage.

  47. aberglas

    Block Chain Toothbrush

    Now there is an idea. I'm writing up the Patent application now, hope to get VC tomorrow. And not just the brush, the toothpaste as well. Possibilities are endless.

  48. Mark Wallace

    Re: The more I listen to the EU...

    Why is everyone so surprised that the biggest problem with AI is an all-but total lack of intelligent people trying to sell it?

    Saw that coming a mile off, I did (and I didn't need AI binoculars to do so).

  49. Nick

    Cooking AI?

    How about some AI that can work out that if, at 1pm on a Sunday afternoon, I want to print a recipe it would be better sent to my A4 plain-paper printer than my 6"x4" sublimation photo printer?

    Just a thought...

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