back to article Can AI-enhanced virtual sports presenters do the job? It's a big ask

Call me paranoid, call me suspicious, call me an ambulance [slaps thigh], but I'm not sure I'm seeing things in the way I'm supposed to. Call me Neo, call me Ishmael, call me (call me) oh my love when you're ready we can share the wine, but I get the feeling things don't quite make sense. I need help. Help me with this, for …

  1. TonyJ Silver badge

    To be fair...

    ...whether you love or loathe the idea (and we know which camp most commentards here fit into!), smart in the case of thermosats isn't just remote control.

    It is also geofencing to turn it off or on when you are a certain distance from home, learning how long it takes for your home/room to heat to your desired temperature and adapting the schedule to cater for this, having TRV's that can call for heat on demand as opposed to just open or closed.

    For people who are running on odd schedules, and/or that are away a lot for say work, they can be quite a useful thing to have and can lead to reduced bills.

    For others, yeah - they are just a mechanism for laziness.

    1. drand

      Re: To be fair...

      I love the idea but I wish these systems didn't insist on 'needing' a cloud infrastructure.

      Yes, I know that's where the value lies for the vendors, but it's bloody irritating all the same.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: To be fair...

        It's also the gateway for uncontrolled third parties wading into your life - you rarely have any control over the cloud owners, nor any way to find out what they do with your data until it's too late.

        I understand why this is needed (and no, IPv6 is still not an argument to open a door directly into your house), but I have as yet to find a cloudy provider who inspires any trust.

        1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

          Re: To be fair...

          IPv6

          Away Devil! Heaven avaunt thee thou spawn of the evil one!

          (Yes - I still haven't got IPv6 working at home. Internal boxen can see the firewall, firewall external can see the router and internet. No internal device can see the IPv6 internet.. despite FW rules explicitly allowing it.)

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: To be fair...

            I've blocked it on all devices and still use IPv4 addressing internally until I find time to read up on managing its security. I'm OK with IPv6 networking out there, but on the outside of my firewall. I am as yet not confident we are at an equivalent level with firewalling IPv6 as we are with IPv4. There's too much functionality in IPv6 that can be abused for covert data transfers, for instance.

      2. MrXavia

        Re: To be fair...

        I agree, I hate any 'smart' home tech that needs the internet, i want a smart thermostat but they all rely on the cloud!

        1. ibmalone Silver badge

          Re: To be fair...

          Years ago my dad had the foresight (and slightly unusual combination of plumbing and electrical engineering skills) to build an automated zoned temperature control into my parents' house. It uses individual temperature controller units for the sensing. I've been working on updating it to make it 'smart' (calendar controllable for individual zones). This is trivial from the software point of view; the hard bit is actually finding any halfway accurate temperature sensors that will talk to a raspberry pi. The most common ones talk i2c and can be several degrees out.

          1. Omgwtfbbqtime

            Re: To be fair...

            You should be able to calibrate it to get rid of the error?

            1. ibmalone Silver badge

              Re: To be fair...

              Yes, unfortunately this seriously sidetracked me and adding a friendly interface to calibrate, store device calibration and match devices to zones is more work than the actual zone control. Also I was trying to do it while watching movies at Christmas. Accurately calibrating one of these things also requires a bit of fiddling as you need to be able to keep it at a stable low and high temperature. Do need to finish it though...

          2. druck Silver badge

            Re: To be fair...

            The i2c temperature/humidity sensors such as the htu21df or 1-wire DS18S20 temperature sensors, are fine for this sort of thing. Absolute accuracy of under a couple of degrees is pointless, as where you put the sensor in the room will make more difference to the reading than that. As long as the relative accuracy of the sensor is ok, you can maintain what you feel is the comfortable temperature in the room, regardless of what the absolute value is.

            1. ibmalone Silver badge

              Re: To be fair...

              This is probably the right answer, though it vexes me that the things disagree with each other by a couple of degrees at room temperature. I'd like to add a linear calibration so they can at least be made to agree with the wall display in each room, but it was a holiday project I didn't get time to finish. Will stick it on github if I ever do.

              Edit:

              The other thing that annoys me is the 1 wire protocol, which is about the only suitable one for this kind of project, is now not really supported anymore.

      3. big_D Silver badge
        Facepalm

        Re: To be fair...

        One system in Germany had an unencrypted login and could be exploited, but it had to be Internet connected, you had to punch a hole in the firewall to your central heating, if the boiler couldn't contact base, your warranty was void and the heating wouldn't heat...

      4. jmch Silver badge

        Re: To be fair...

        Completely agree. There's no need for smart shit to pass through any 3rd party, if you have a secure tunnel into your home router you can do all you want from your smartphone / PC / whatever from anywhere in the world without the data having to pass anywhere else.

        Similair to many other internet-related things, it's probable that manufacturers subsidise the devices to get the data, so any device that doesn't slurp data would be more expensive... and the vast majority of consumers don't care and would go for the cheaper option.

    2. Dr_N Silver badge
      Terminator

      Re: To be fair...

      TonyJ> For people who are running on odd schedules, and/or that are away a lot for say work, they can be quite a useful thing to have and can lead to reduced bills.

      Being able to turn the heating on just before getting on a long haul flight and then arriving home in the evening to a toastie warm house is a godsend.

      Being greeted by MaxHeadroom on the TV? Meh.

      1. Rich 11 Silver badge

        Re: To be fair...

        turn the heating on just before getting on a long haul flight

        It takes your house six hours to warm up? Where do you live, Blenheim Palace?

        1. BGatez Bronze badge

          Re: To be fair...

          They need to get a "smart" sweater (jumper to you I guess).

          1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

            Re: To be fair...

            sweater (jumper to you I guess)

            This is my wifes' response to me saying that I'm cold..

        2. Baudwalk

          Re: To be fair...

          Underfloor heating takes a while to, well, heat up.

        3. Dr_N Silver badge
          Coat

          Re: To be fair...

          Rich 11> It takes your house six hours to warm up?

          Reversible A/C innit.

        4. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge
          Coat

          Re: To be fair...

          A occupied house always retains heat to a degree, left unattended for even a few days will see it cool.

          Having worked away from home for a number of years, leaving on Friday afternoon then coming back to my flat on a winter Sunday night was a much much colder experience than the rest of the week (Returning after Christmas\New Year especially) was not fun.

          I got around it by having a oil filled radiator on a timer so it would keep a modicum of heat for Saturday & really start heating up the place in late Sunday afternoon.

        5. A.P. Veening Silver badge

          Re: To be fair...

          It takes your house six hours to warm up? Where do you live, Blenheim Palace?

          That is a short haul flight, long haul exceeds ten hours.

    3. Cuddles Silver badge

      Re: To be fair...

      "For people who are running on odd schedules, and/or that are away a lot for say work, they can be quite a useful thing to have and can lead to reduced bills."

      Can they really though? I'd be interested to see any actual studies showing that people reduce their bills this way. It seems a lot easier and cheaper to simply put a jumper on for the 20 minutes or so it takes for your house to start warming up. And then keep said jumper on because you save a lot more money by dropping the thermostat a couple of degrees and just wearing some clothes than you do by wandering around in your underwear with the heat cranked up as high as possible.

      Unless you're living in a stately mansion and need to telegram the butler three days in advance to give the fires time to warm the place up, heating a house just isn't that complicated. Wear clothes. Install better insulation. Don't worry about it being slightly colder than the Caribbean for a few minutes after you get in. The amount of money that can be saved by a "smart" thermostat is pitiful at best, and potentially even negative, compared to far simpler and more sensible measures.

      1. TonyJ Silver badge
        Joke

        Re: To be fair...

        "...It seems a lot easier and cheaper to simply put a jumper on for the 20 minutes or so it takes for your house to start warming up..."

        Trying to get a wife to put on a jumper? You may as well wrestle greased eels, or tame cats...

        1. Chris G Silver badge

          Re: To be fair...

          I have no problems getting my wife to put on a jumper while the house is warming up. And she's Russian, tough as nails i the cold outside but used to 25°+ inside 24hrs a day.

          I don't even have to get a whip and a chair out with her jumper.

          Herding cats however....

          1. Rich 11 Silver badge

            Re: To be fair...

            Your wife may be able to tell you about the performer who herds cats at the Nikulin Circus in Moscow.

            It's a little bit strange to see, though nowhere near as disturbing as the bear doing head-over-heels along a raised ladder.

        2. short a sandwich

          Re: To be fair...

          What I choose to do in my own time with either cats or eels. . .

        3. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

          Re: To be fair...

          Trying to get a wife to put on a jumper?

          Or (as in my case) wife trying to get me to put on (another) jumper.. The fact that doing so (for me) doesn't actually warm anything but my torso seems to have escaped her..

          tame cats...

          Easy. Just offer them instant and uncomplaining obedience to their every whim and they *might* condescend to obey..

          (5 of our 7 are pretty tame. The two ex-feral farm cats somewhat less so. They are fine as long as you don't try to retrain them or pick them up..)

      2. macjules Silver badge

        Re: To be fair...

        Quite right. Sometimes I feel that those of us who understand what Wonko The Sane meant are few and far between since we now live in an age where you buy a £1500 device to control the remote control of the TV, the house thermostat and even control a toothbrush.

        1. DiViDeD Silver badge
          Trollface

          Re: To be fair...

          I might be slow on the uptake, but this claim for the toothbrush might need a little empirical evidence:

          "Bluetooth communication between toothbrush and smartphone

          Removes up to 100% more plaque than a regular manual toothbrush"

          Does it though?

          1. Olivier2553 Silver badge

            Re: To be fair...

            100% more just means it removes twice as mush as a manual toothbrush. Well it may. If the manual toothbrush removes 5% of the plaque, that one removes 10%. It sounds OK. Given it is a new gadget, electric, etc. you will tend to use it a bit more thoroughly so it will do a better job.

            On a side note, I found that all electric toothbrush I bough developed water leak after one year and needed to be replaced, so they really don't need to make it smart, electric toothbrush is a consummerable item.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: To be fair...

              I have been buying 3-in-a-pack toothbrushes of a particular brand for years now (chosen after I tested just about every brand). The pack costs about the same as a single toothbrush of other brands (which I find, frankly, idiotically high), and I replace a toothbrush every month because the recommended 3 months is IMHO too long.

              Works just as fast and thorough, doesn't need recharging gear when travelling and if I lose it it won't cost much to replace.

              Not everything needs to be electric, however many arguments marketing throws at you..

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: simply put a jumper on ...

        Or, for the laziest amongst us, since most probably you were already wearing a jumper/ fleece/ whatever due to it being cold outside, just leave it on for the 20 minutes or so it takes for your house to start warming up.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: simply put a jumper on ...

          You are Jimmy Carter and I claim my $5

        2. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

          Re: simply put a jumper on ...

          Or, for the laziest amongst us, since most probably you were already wearing a jumper/ fleece/ whatever due to it being cold outside, just leave it on for the 20 minutes or so it takes for your house to start warming up.

          THIS^

          This is exactly what i do , you bunch of pussies. (excluding those who live in truly cold places)

          I also dont bother with a morning timer - I'm not burning fuel for an hour or more and heating the whole house to "liveable" level , just for the 10mins it takes me to get out the house in the morning.

          The evening timer consists of turning it off at 10:30 , if Its on.

          1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

            Re: simply put a jumper on ...

            excluding those who live in truly cold places

            Or have issues with bloodflow to the extremities..

    4. Alistair Dabbs

      Re: To be fair...

      Genuine question on geothinging: if you're halfway home and remember that you left something really important at the office and have to go back for it, does the smart heating system switch off again? Like a car that locks itself when you walk away from it?

      1. Patrician

        Re: To be fair...

        "Genuine question on geothinging: if you're halfway home and remember that you left something really important at the office and have to go back for it, does the smart heating system switch off again? Like a car that locks itself when you walk away from it?"

        Can't speak for all "smart thermostats" but for the Nest (queue anti-Google boos and hisses) yes that's exactly what happened with mine when I tested if it would happen.

        It turns on when it estimates I'm about 10 minutes from home; that said I can confuse it by calling in next door rather than walking in my house.

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: To be fair...

          "It turns on when it estimates I'm about 10 minutes from home; that said I can confuse it by calling in next door rather than walking in my house."

          So not actually "smart" then. Little more than a "dumb" proximity sensor.

          1. Patrician

            Re: To be fair...

            it depends on your definition of "smart" of course; it would need to be a really long range sensor for it to be considered a proximity sensor.

            It's supposed to be "smart" because it "learns" from your routine, despite what ever schedule you setup; not really noticed any evidence that it has been doing this though.

            1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

              Re: To be fair...

              because it "learns" from your routine

              And via its pimp^W service provider, proceeds to sell that data to anyone interested enough to buy it.

  2. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

    I can envisage BBC's post-Lineker Match of the Day studio being populated entirely by virtual presenters reciting clichés, faking in-depth knowledge and generally talking arse to each other. Who'd know the difference?

    They could do the same for the players, think of the money they'd save. Who'd know the difference?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Not just sport, can apply to other comment stuff on the TV , a large % is derivative & formulaic.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Well, that's why I watch cricket :)

      It'll be a while before they can virtualise that..

      1. A.P. Veening Silver badge

        They already did 27 years ago, you just didn't notice.

    3. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

      If you've ever played one of those loathsome "Fifa" games , you'll know this has already been nailed.

    4. ICPurvis47 Bronze badge
      Flame

      Soapbox

      I really can't stand the commentator (Darren Fletcher) on the Soapbox Race programmes, he has absolutely no knowledge of what is going on, and frequently can't even tell right from left. If an AI commentator were to be used instead, it would add to my enjoyment of the series. I sometimes get so annoyed with the inane drivel he is spouting that I have to mute the sound until he has finished.

  3. Shadow Systems Silver badge
    Pint

    Dabbsy, go enjoy a pint on me...

    I remember when a "remote control" was the act of sending one of your kids out to do the manual labour while we sat back on our fat arses in comfort amid the furs at the back of the cave.

    A "smart thermostat" was remembering to leave a large pile of wood beside the fire pit so you could try to melt off some of the permafrost still clinging to your wooly mammoth fur robes.

    *Shakes a fossilized fist*

    And that's the way we LIKED it, dag-

    *Falls asleep in my rocker*

    zzz... zzz... zzsnortzz... whippersnappers... zzz LawnGnomes... zzz

    1. Franco Silver badge

      Re: Dabbsy, go enjoy a pint on me...

      "I remember when a "remote control" was the act of sending one of your kids out to do the manual labour while we sat back on our fat arses in comfort amid the furs at the back of the cave."

      Still is in my case. The only time that I think a Hive thermostat is a good idea is when I get a text from my Mum asking me to go and turn her heating back on a few hours before she gets home from her latest holiday. Then I remember that she can't be trusted to change passwords from default or not use the same one for everything and the moment passes.

  4. Warm Braw Silver badge

    Generally talking arse to each other

    I strongly suspect the motto of the newly subservient Boris Broadcasting Corporation will be "Nation shall speak arse unto nation".

    But with one half of the planet on fire and the other half rapidly disappearing underwater, it ought to be clear to everyone that the human propensity to be distracted by trivia is killing all of us. Unfortunately, we're too distracted to notice.

    1. John G Imrie Silver badge

      Re: Generally talking arse to each other

      You are completely wr... SQUIRREL!!!

  5. Anonymous Custard Silver badge
    Terminator

    De-de-de-de-deja vu

    All of a sudden I'm having 80's flashbacks of Ma-Ma-Ma-Ma-Max Headroom...

    1. Anonymous South African Coward Silver badge

      Re: De-de-de-de-deja vu

      Sna-sna-sna-sna-snap, I was abo-abo-abo-abo-about to post a Ma-Ma-Ma-Ma-Max Headroom thingy...

      1. steelpillow Silver badge
        Pint

        Re: De-de-de-de-deja vu

        H-he- >Kzzert!< -hey! I just s-searched the thread for Max Headroom coz I had a sneaking suspicion somebody would have b-b-b-b-beaten me to it!

        1. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge
          Pint

          Re: De-de-de-de-deja vu

          “How come the only funny lines in this show are the ones behind me?”.

    2. druck Silver badge

      Re: De-de-de-de-deja vu

      What a coincidence, I watched 20 Minutes in to the Future last night on YouTube, to show the wife, as she was only 1 when it came out.

  6. Giovani Tapini Silver badge
    Big Brother

    old remote controls replaced by mobile apps... hmmm

    which in turn wont last the life of the device they control, nor will the app, or OS it was written on survive even if the device does.

    This leaning either into a highly disposable set of technology (harder if it is plumbed into your house rather than in your pocket) or the solutions will simply have to go back to being dumb or worse...

    The or worse being, your house is controlled by its previous owner who lost the email address associated with the app, so you will have to either start living their life or reinstall all your household utilities from the pipework upwards.

    Why are these connected to the "cloud" - that's clearly not just for enabling the remote controls, its to enable control or visibility over you and your family, roommates etc. This may be for getting you the best deals on cheap power... but almost certainly for other reasons less obviously beneficial to me, and more obviously beneficial to my provider.

    Grrr

  7. BenDwire
    Angel

    Meanwhile, back in the 70's ...

    The first remote control TV I ever experienced was in a huge room complete with grand piano *in the corner* and a wonderful Hi-Fi with Quad electrostatic speakers - the girl that I was trying to woo came from particularly wealthy stock! Anyway, the remote used ultrasonic transducers, but wasn't capable of bridging the distance between sofa and screen, so you had to get up and stand halfway across the room for it to work. Unfortunately, the familiy parrot in the opposing corner was able to change channels with a simple squawk, which it seemed to do as soon as I was attempting to extend my arm around said female. I'm convinced to this day her father was some kind of Dr Doolittle.

    I never got the girl, but that Hi-Fi remains strong in my memory ....

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Meanwhile, back in the 70's ...

      Ultrasound remote control??? Luxury!

      First VCR we had had remote control. That was a small box with a (IIRC) 3m cable attached to the VCR!

    2. ICPurvis47 Bronze badge
      Facepalm

      Re: Meanwhile, back in the 70's ...

      We had an ultrasonic remote for our TV, but the dog could mute the sound by having a good scratch, which jingled the address disc on her collar, and moving the fireguard would often change channels in the middle of a program. As soon as we found a TV with and infrared remote, we gave the old TV to a friend, who had neither a dog nor a fireguard.

  8. Khaptain Silver badge

    Ananova Dabbs, freelance technology tart

    How do we even know that Alisdair truly is a fleshy meatbag and a not just an AI generated vulture ?

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: Ananova Dabbs, freelance technology tart

      Because it was owned by France Telecom, so it has to be the least technically advanced solution.

  9. Alister Silver badge

    @Alistair

    You are an ambulance.

    That is all.

    1. chapter32

      But don't call him hell, Stacey, her, Jane, ..

      It's not his name.

      With apologies to the Ting Tings

  10. Teiwaz Silver badge

    What does a 'Smart' anything actually do.

    Seems to me, the baseline is report all activity back to headquarters until it's end-of-lifed and bricked and a new version is automatically despatched to the customer with a bill.

    Or that's the corporate dream.

  11. Dan 55 Silver badge
    Windows

    Infrared? Infra-red? Luxury.

    We had a telly that used an ultrasonic a remote control. The cats jumped every time we changed the channel and we were grateful for it.

    1. Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese Silver badge

      Re: Infrared? Infra-red? Luxury.

      I remember my aunt being the first person I knew to have a TV with a remote control, which was attached to the TV with a wire that stretched across her living room.. Now it sounds truly s**t, but at the time it felt like I'd been shown something straight out of Star Trek.

      1. Alistair Dabbs

        Re: Infrared? Infra-red? Luxury.

        I’ve seen woodcuts of this.

  12. katrinab Silver badge
    Megaphone

    Reuters not an exception

    Have you seen the garbage that passes for stock market reporting?

    Get some price charts, draw some childish doodles on them, and call it technical analysis.

    Tesla is forming an eiffel tower pattern, strong buy

    Vomiting camel formation in Bitcoin, run for the hills

    You could easily scan in a library of nursery school drawings, have the computer find the closest match to one of them, and make up some commentary around it.

  13. imanidiot Silver badge

    Why do you think this??

    "Pokémon GO is a game for children yet most of its players are adults"

    Why do you say Pokémon Go is a game for children? AFAIK it's always been targeted at a young adults to 30s demographic (which is the majority user base too), i.e. those that got introduced to Pokémon in their younger years.

  14. Kubla Cant Silver badge

    At the risk of betraying my total ignorance of sports reporting, may I ask why Ossian Shine has a green face? Is he supposed to have been in contact with the playing field?

    1. Alistair Dabbs

      why Ossian Shine has a green face

      It’s the facial map.

  15. SVV Silver badge

    Artificial sports presenters

    By keeping control over their virtual tellybod and broadcasting it to everyone in the traditional way, they are missing a trick here. Surely in the age of mass computation power and user choice I should be able to design my own tellybods to present the information to me. And there should be multiple configurable choices available so I can choose whatever I feel is best for my current mood. On a cold Winter's day for example I might want the sheepskin coated, comedy 1970s bloke with massive sideburns shivering in virtual sleet relaying the info. And why stop at humans? Sometimes I might prefer some mermaids, or a robot from another tv or film franchise. Or a purple tortoise. Or a character from some Michael Moorcock-esque sci-fi allegory who is really just a metaphorical cypher for an abstract concept, with a name like Ossian Shine.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Artificial sports presenters

      I'd quite fancy a sheepskin coated robot mermaid option.

      .

      .

      .

      .

      ... I mean as a sports presenter! ... as a sports presenter!

      .

      (honest)

      1. Celeste Reinard

        Re: Artificial sports presenters

        I queried a specialist (a mother of twins) on the subject of mermaids, and how they will be going about when it comes to the consumption of the inevitable marital nights... the mechanics of sleeping with the fish. Where do these flippers go, for example. You happen to be a marine biologist - she was clueless.

        1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

          Re: Artificial sports presenters

          the mechanics of sleeping with the fish

          Shapeshifting. After all, positing a fish/human hybrid, what's one step further?

    2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
      Paris Hilton

      Re: Artificial sports presenters

      "And there should be multiple configurable choices available "

      See icon ------------>

      1. katrinab Silver badge
        Paris Hilton

        Re: Artificial sports presenters

        I strongly agree

  16. Belize

    Thanks for the Friday pick me up Dabsy! Reminded me of an old Mitchell & Webb football sketch that always makes me smile.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MusyO7J2inM

  17. Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse Silver badge

    Re : "just spent $3.1bn on asserting their infantilism..."

    Never grow up. Never surrender.

  18. Baudwalk

    Ananova...

    ...?

    How did I miss that phenomenon?

    The only Ana Nova I remember, was an actress, the IMDb blurb on DuckDuckGo assures me starred in some health video involving colonic yoga.

  19. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    "Somehow, Reuters persuaded its global sports editor Ossian Shine to help advance the date of his own redundancy by being the video-captured human in question."

    If he's on for royalties it could be a smart move. "He" can report from a dozen different venues on the same day and he just picks up the money every week.

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Yes, he may well be looking to the inevitable future and end up being the only "sports reporter" still earning moolah!

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Insightful as always, but one quibble: an AI sportcaster would have no need for a green screen (nor would baldness make the 'scoping process easier).

    A bald presenter may require less rendering power (although most human TV commentators seem to have their hair set to 0 degrees of freedom thanks to hair products)

  21. David Haig

    Oooh nice speakers - always wanted a pair but only got a pair of Gale 401s.

    Tried a pair of wall hanging B&Os once but not nice.... And for most things you can't beat a pair of JBL Control 1s

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I wonder if I could make a virtual me to remote in to meetings and nod and say whatever the AI thinks I should have said based on lots of statistical analysis of previous stuff I said and what the current state of the meeting is. Then literally I wouldn't even have to pretend to work to get paid :O

    1. 's water music Silver badge

      ...based on lots of statistical analysis of previous stuff I said

      That would be quite easy for me. Mostly it would stay silent then, near the end of the meeting it would apologise for only just realising that the mic was on mute. I would take steps to ensure the video AI was not trained by actual experience should it ever be accidentally activated

  23. swm Silver badge

    The other problem with "smart" stuff is that the government can cut your heating, electricity etc. when they want to.

  24. Aussie Doc
    Windows

    Yeah, sure.

    We grew up with smart remote control for the TV ages ago - dad would yell from the couch "Oy, change the channel, <kid 1 or kid 2>."

    Simples.

  25. earl grey Silver badge
    Angel

    still have a pair of JBL 100s my brother gave me

    But always wished i had the money for a set of NS1000s from Yamaha.

    old dreams.

  26. Bruce Ordway

    I thought a "smart thermostat"

    Warning.... thermostat rant.

    A few years ago I had my furnace replaced by my utility company.

    They also replaced my old mercury switch thermostat with a newer programmable model

    In my opinion, the user interface for the majority of digital controllers sucks in general.

    This started with the first VCR's and never has improved. Lots of unused, needless features like blinking clocks and useful features that are almost impossible to set correctly.

    Beside a terrible user interface, this model required batteries, which opened the door for several, strange failure scenarios. It had to be replaced twice while still under warranty.

    When the unit ultimately failed out of warranty, I replaced it with a simple, non-programmable thermostat. $20 and works great.

    Now... I would be interested in having a simple unit that included remote control.

    BTW... I do have some experience with programmable interfaces.

    Having worked in engineering, I lived thru the transition from mechanical switches to programmable user interfaces.

    The programmable units were flexible and saved a lot of money for equipment manufacturers.

    I actually didn't mind programming them and putting them on machines.

    However... I still pretty much hate it when I actually have to use them myself to run a machine.

    1. Giles C

      Re: I thought a "smart thermostat"

      I looked at a smart thermostat, and went instead for a radio linked thermostat so it can be with me in whichever room is best, and a plain old mechanical on/off clock on the boiler.

      Simple reliable and the only problem is if you get a power failure, or turn it off for some reason you have to remember to reset the clock.

      I am looking at a bathroom refit and they will now sell you an app controlled shower. Please explain to this network security engineer, why I need to set the temperature on my shower using a phone! I am going for a thermostatic mixer bar, cheaper and more reliable, and a lot easier to install.

      Nothing smart in my house... unless you mean the cat who is trying to outwit me and winning.

  27. Celeste Reinard

    Misses & Misses D.

    As I am a avid proponent of corporal punishment - I like to teach by example and hand out free samples - I asked myself how I should procede with someone begging for a free sample for the all the inanities dispersed, that someone being immaterial. ... As I am also an avid abuser of innocent substances, my next thought was about the current UK prime minister, and as far as he is not yet replaced by a virtual thingy, how do we know the difference? ... And while investigating, ask his opinion about corporal punishment, if he likes a free sample (I think that would suffice to differentiate between Turing and him), or that he rather goes for the whole hog and likes to cough up some (badly needed and loads of) dough in exchange for (some specialist) education, training, and exercise. ... As for the latter, and the honorable PM is piqued and wants to know my contact details, I am sure the editor of this magazine will surely like to be instrumental in sharing them, and be updated later on... (in Technicolor™ on request).

  28. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge
    Flame

    Oh look

    a smart thermostat, which enables you to use the internet, a phone app and someone else's cloud to turn your heating on.

    Woohooo great.. if I'm late back from robot wrestling I can delay my heating coming on thus saving ... hold on 'no connection' hmmm check emails

    "Dear subscriber, due to security problems , we have had to switch off our cloud server and as a result , your expensive web based thermostat no longer works. due to the design there is no fall back manual mode and thus your heating system cannot be turned on until you update our app and thermostats with supper whizzy thermostat 2. does everything that thermostat 1 did but with a cool blue logo

    Needs 24/7 internet and maybe go offline when we finally go bust due to selling insecure tat under the guise of essential heating controls"

    Icon.... needs no flipping remote control, cloud server, app, smartphone or wires.....

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