The idea of a thinking machine isn’t anything new. After all, the first artificial intelligence to appear in fiction made their debut thousands of years before any known civilization had developed a means by which to harness electrical power. However, we’ve come a long way from the myths of Talos of Crete. The last few years have seen a surge of advancement in the field of computer processing, and if Moore’s law continues to hold true, then the abilities of computer driven devices will continue to grow exponentially. If so, then very soon we may see our home computers and mobile devices become something that the world has never before seen; they could potentially make the jump from smart to intelligent.
But what would that mean for us, especially around the house? Well, here are five advantages to having an A.I. in your home that you may not have considered.
Quick, what is your least favorite household chore? Is it cooking? Do you hate cleaning the bathroom? How about making home repairs? Whatever it may be, a properly connected home A.I. could make it a thing of the past. Automated cleaning robots could scour every surface of your home, wirelessly linking back to the controlling intelligence in order to attack problem areas and catch messes before they get out of hand. Similar robots could monitor the condition of appliances and systems, performing repairs and maintenance whenever necessary. All the while, your A.I. could be planning delicious home-cooked meals by searching the internet for recipes that it thinks you will like, and then ordering the food online and even preparing it for you when everything arrives. This is one of the biggest draws of the A.I. house—the ability to allow your home to do all of the housework on its own.
Of course, your home is more than just a collection of responsibilities; it’s also the place where you keep the things you cherish most in the world. Prized possessions, mementos and keepsakes, and especially family members are all things that you expect will be safe in your home. There’s no denying it—security is a major concern for most home owners. And although modern home automation providers do a lot to ensure home protection, the A.I. home could do even more. A few examples include: monitoring it’s own security cameras, sending out calls to the police should a suspicious individual begin spending time around the house, and reviewing data about the area and coming to an intelligent decision regarding the safety of the home. This way, the A.I. wouldn’t have to wait for a break in for an alarm to be tripped, rather it could keep watch of the entire premises all of the time.
One of the things that makes A.I. different from smart technology is its ability to learn and to think creatively. As such, A.I. could be put to use as a virtual companion, able to carry on intelligent conversation and possibly even form emotional bonds with homeowners. The A.I would be like a pet, except that it would also be sophisticated enough to develop a dynamic and interesting personality.
Considering how much money the average American spends on entertainment each year, it won’t come as much of a surprise to anyone when the first working A.I.s are put to use as in-home entertainers. A.I.s could play chess, compose symphonies and write plays, or even just provide an intelligent and challenging video game opponent. This is all in addition to things that modern smart houses are already capable of doing, such as recording television shows.
5. Energy Efficiency
One of the biggest draws of smart home technology is that it is so environmentally friendly. With thermostats that learn your habits in order to more efficiently heat or cool the house, to lights that turn off when you leave a room, modern smart homes do quite a bit to help keep energy consumption down. A.I. homes could easily improve upon these already useful advancements. Vivint offers automated solar paneling which can rotate and move to acquire maximum sunlight throughout the entire day. Lights that know not only how to turn off when you leave a room, but can also accurately guess just how much light is needed at any given time could dim or remotely open nearby curtains to provide you with the best possible lighting for a specific time of day. A series of intelligent fans and heaters could give you the most efficient climate control system available.
Intelligent homes aren’t far off. Give it a few years, and chances are you’ll be coming home to more than just a house—you’ll be coming back to an old friend who knows how to keep you happy.
David Glenn is a home improvement expert. He occasionally freelance writes about home security and DIY home repair. He’s also knowledgeable about topics like how to improve social presence and building a reputation online.