Robot-assisted ‘smart homes’ and AI: the boundary between supportive and intrusive?

[grow_thumb image=”https://telecareaware.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/Robot-Belgique-1.png” thumb_width=”200″ /]Something that has been bothersome to Deep Thinkers (and Not Such Deep Thinkers like this Editor) is the almost-forced loss of control inherent in discussion of AI-powered technology. There is a elitist Wagging of Fingers that generally accompanies the Inevitable Questions and Qualms.

  • If you don’t think 100 percent self-driving cars are an Unalloyed Wonder, like Elon Musk and Google tells you, you’re a Luddite
  • If you have concerns about nanny tech or smart homes which can spy on you, you’re paranoid
  • If you are concerned that robots will take the ‘social’ out of ‘social care’, likely replace human carers for people, or lose your neighbor their job, you are not with the program

I have likely led with the reason why: loss of control. Control does not motivate just Control Freaks. Think about the decisions you like versus the ones you don’t. Think about how helpless you felt as a child or teenager when big decisions were made without any of your input. It goes that deep.

In the smart home, robotic/AI world then, who has the control? Someone unknown, faceless, well meaning but with their own rationale? (Yes, those metrics–quality, cost, savings) Recall ‘Uninvited Guests’, the video which demonstrated that Dad Ain’t Gonna Take Nannying and is good at sabotage.

Let’s stop and consider: what are we doing? Where are we going? What fills the need for assistance and care, yet retains that person’s human autonomy and that old term…dignity? Maybe they might even like it? For your consideration:

How a robot could be grandma’s new carer (plastic dogs to the contrary in The Guardian)

AI Is Not out to Get Us (Scientific American)

Hat tip on both to reader Malcolm Fisk, Senior Research Fellow (CCSR) at De Montfort University via LinkedIn

Events for your diary, your CV and perhaps your bottom line

This editor has recently been overwhelmed by important dates near and far that readers needs to be aware of. Beginning with July, the first networking event for the Long Term Care Revolution SBRI National Challenge will take place in Birmingham on 21st July at the Menzies Hotel, Birmingham. Click here to register. The second networking event will take place on the 28th July at The Thistle Marble Arch. Register here

This SBRI competition aims to stimulate the development of innovative new products, services and systems that disrupt the institutional long-term care model, ensuring that UK businesses are well placed to take advantage of this growing market opportunity. A total of £4m is up for grabs so (more…)

‘Uninvited Guests’

[grow_thumb image=”https://telecareaware.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/SmartFork3-small-Superflux.jpg” thumb_width=”150″ /]Wonder what it would be like to be older and ‘nannied’ by some of the ‘whiz-bang’ devices we promote as making life healthier and better? This short (4 minute) video dramatizes how a 70 year old man deals with the smartphone-connected devices–a food-monitoring fork, activity-tracking cane, pill dispenser and sleep monitor–his well-meaning children have provided to nag and monitor Dad at a distance. Dad dispenses with these annoying ‘uninvited guests’ in his own clever way. Produced by the UK/India-based design consultancy Superflux Lab for the ThingTank project, which explores the conflicts and frictions these IoT tools in the connected home can produce with humans. On Vimeo. Hat tip to Guy Dewsbury via Twitter.

Two free CES overview webinars on 7th & 8th January

Courtesy of Futuresource Consulting:

Wearable Technology at International CES, 15.15 GMT on 7/1/15 – to register click here

  • The killer apps on show from smartwatches, head-mounted displays and other emerging categories.
  • Will health and fitness tracking remain the primary application in the short run?
  • What are the emerging new wearables categories?
  • Are smart garments becoming a competitive reality?
  • The latest headphones trends including health tracking, sports and wireless.
  • What competitive trends are on display – prestige brands from the worlds of jewellery and fashion?
  • Beyond GoPro – the roadmap for wearable cameras and imaging beyond sports and evidential.

(more…)