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Virtual Reality and AI? - next challenge for a retiree

Discussion in 'Life, the Universe and Everything' started by Jamira, Jan 27, 2019.

  1. narfi

    narfi Lost

    I beleive that is where you are supposed to use ifttt
    you can setup what you want done with what voice commands then, or at least that is how I understand it.
  2. NotAdmin

    NotAdmin Administrator

    Well, that'd a double edged sword, really. Imagine 99.9% of the population being good, and teaching Alexa morally sound things, and through AI, improve Alexa's image recognition or speech recognition. Perhaps build useful functionality like <If temperature suddenly greatly increases> then <Call 911>.

    And then there's the 0.1% consisting of Stalin, space pirates, Trump, David Ssimmonds, criminals, biker gangs, the government, and whatever other evil bodies you can think of, who would teach her other things that then might find their way into everybody's houses.

    I'll leave it up to Amazon to curate things. I realize the EU and other governments probably think they are better suited to deal with stuff like that, but fuck politicians or government employees being put in charge of anything. If those people were competent, they'd have proper jobs in the private sector.
    • Like Like x 1
  3. narfi

    narfi Lost

    Already possible.

    A smart home needs to be a collections of sensors and interaction devices.
    Alexa is part of that collection as a voice interaction device, several echoes through the house even better.
    But that is only part of the equation.
    Without other sensors or things to control it is just a voice to talk to.
    Jamiria has the first device for it to interact with, his fire stick. Now he can control what shows on his TV, but there are more.

    Light and outlet switches including dimmers.
    Environmental sensors (indoor and out) temp, humidity, precipitation, etc....
    Motion sensors
    Locks and lock/proximity sensors (is the door locked? Is a window open?)
    Bluetooth devices
    Power consumption sensors
    Liquid level sensors and flow sensors (measure fuel and water inventory and consumption)
    Other human interface devices, phones, tablets, computers, remotes, security screens, etc....
    Smart appliances, vacuumed, dishwashers, coffee pots, refrigerators, etc....

    Some or all of these are needed for a smart home, but they all need to work together.

    I have 3 echo devices, 2 of them paired with Bose speakers for music.
    I have Samsung smartthings hub v1 (never found the need to upgrade)
    Changed all the light switches except the bathrooms to smart dimmer switches.
    I have several smart outlets that can be turned on/off remotely and a couple short corded smart switches. (They also measure power consumption which is important for me to work on efficiency as I pay ~70cents per kw over 500 a month, we average about 400)
    I have a video doorbell with motion sensing.
    I have a harmony hub for IR and network remote intetaction.

    All of these can interact with each other and in turn be controlled through my phone or voice through alexa.

    With a command I can say goodnight and all lights in the house turn off, hallway light turns on to 5% and boys bedroom light to 1%.
    With a command I can say goodmorning and lights turn on in the kitchen and livingroom and 5% in the masterbedroom.
    Alexa what channel is the Lakers game on.
    Alexa turn on the tv.
    Alexa change channel to TNT
    Alexa pause tv.
    Alexa turn off kitchen lights.
    Alexa what is the temperature outside?
    Alexa turn on corner lamp. (Old school plug in lamp with a smart switch between it and the wall)

    I have added all the peices over time and they arent as smooth as I'd like. I need to take the time and start over with a plan for everything and so they can interact more smoothly.

    The biggest issue is every company wants to be the next big thing. Lots of devices arent made to work with each other but as stand alone units. What we want is a clean standard and everything working together smoothly. Alot of times it's fairly easy to do, but requires a little researxh.

    The smartthings hub and the harmony hub both interact with alexa very well.

    Smartthings hub interacts very well with zigbee and zwave devices. (Creates a separate smartphone network of devices that interacts with your smarthib which then interacts with your wifi and internet connections)

    Harmony hub works well as a universal remote with its IR blaster mounted in front of the IR sensor of whatever devices you want to control.

    I have not tried to connect our doorbell to anything smart yet.
    I have not tried to connect the rumba and not sure if possible, but maybe... with a kid and dog in the house it's better to have some human thought into vacuming though I think.

    I have played with things like if my phone connects with or disconnects from my home network then x or y happens, but it doesnt seem to be a reliable trigger.

    I'm not an audiophile, but the Bose speakers seem decent enough to listen to amazon music through.

    We do not have a fire stick so our TV is used primarily as a "dumb" tv and dishnetwork for our satalite/cable service. Dishnetwork has an alexa skill and works well with her.

    I have not hooked a switch to my coffee pot and do not cook on an electric hotplate, but would be an interesting goodmorning combo.
    • Informative Informative x 1
  4. NotAdmin

    NotAdmin Administrator

    I'm still very reluctant to have any of that stuff in my house. I do own a Point alarm, which essentially is a phone-controlled alarm that monitors noise, temperature, humidity and movement. It's near perfect, I only wish it'd also do a CO2 alarm. Maybe in the future?

    I'd love to be able to control lights and what not remotely. However, my house is from the 1970s, and all switches are pretty much embedded in the walls.

    But that's probably as advanced as I'd get. I'd hate to have something constantly listening (or viewing fr that matter) my house. I also do not want my appliances connected to the network or internet. I'd much rather use regular wiring instead.

    With that said, I did add a phone-controlled receiver that I connected to my old stero set (something I bought in, oh, 1993 or so? An old JVC receiver (not using the radio, but just the amp part), with a cassette deck (not used/hooked up) and an old-fashioned CD player.

    I hooked up my mixing panel to the receiver, which in turn is connected to my old turntables and DJ CD-players. And then the device to play music through my phone. So basically I can use modern technology, on my ancient hardware :)
    • Agree Agree x 1
  5. narfi

    narfi Lost

    its not like switches have changed in the last 50 years.....
    You just unscrew the wall switches (obviously with power turned off) and replace them with the new smart switches, you still have the physical face on the smart switches for walking around and visitors, but you then have the added access with your smart apps.

    • Informative Informative x 1
  6. NotAdmin

    NotAdmin Administrator

    Yeah, so the issue here is the old Danish switches are extremely narrow, and mounted on the wood of a door frame (Don't ask me why). Another thing they are keen on (and not something I've ever seen before) is having a wall outlet, from which they then run a fucking cable dangling along the ceiling to a lamp they mount at some impossibly placed spot.

    In Holland, we offer mounting points, so you mount the light directly on the electricity inlet. Not here in Denmark for some reason.

    I'm not sure my house would support the switches you show, but I'll look into it. That's actually something I'd be very keen on. Burglary "protection" and all, by having lights switch on at "random" times in different sequences.
  7. Jamira

    Jamira Samurai Girl

    Oha! Tbh this thread is not about a so called "smart home". It's about VR and AI. I use WiFi control of our flat since three years for controlling temperature. No need to correct it via AI. It works good already. And I don't need light control. I just use simple oldschool switches and dimmers. My interest is to communicate with Alexa or whatever in a different way. What I want is cheap at one point: ability to handle Amazon Music in the same way as Amazon Video. Should be easy. And will be released soon.

    The second point is probably more expensive than any space project. It's just bring AI and VR to a new level.
    I share your concerns.
  8. Jamira

    Jamira Samurai Girl

    Not really. It is not what I want. I don't want additional software or hardware. All this VR and AI issues sounds like the problems with pictures and layouts during the early nineties. TGA, GIF, TIFF, BMP ... not to speak about native data formats. It was pretty hard to deliver correct data to each other. It took ten years to solve it. JPG and later PNG appeared, most important was PDF I think.

    I hope something similar will happen to VR and AI next years.
  9. San


    It may be a nice toy to explore new deveolpments in AI but I don't get why anyone wants to put a device in their private space which, if installed on a PC, would simply be called trojan. It records from whatever sensors it is equipped with, sends the data to a server to process. What it does with them is entirely out of your hands and no legal checks and balances protect you from their potential to use it for other things than it tells you. En contraire, the highest institutions themselves can turn it against you at any time. Using it to catch criminals? Sure. It all depends on what you outlaw... does one really need to go on?

    The irony ...
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  10. Jamira

    Jamira Samurai Girl

    LOL yeah! Read about poor Jeff Bezos' terrible fate in NYTimes and had a good laugh. At the other hand, who the hell is stupid enough to attack a man like Bezos in such a primitiv way? Right: folks who belong to Donald Trumps backers. No wonder.
    I assume finally Bezos will simply buy The National Enquirer or even their mother American Media Inc.

    Regarding the little spy in my living room. Every time, when I want to talk to my wife about the preparations for our projected terror attack with a fragmentation bomb in a mall nearby, I pull its plug. ;-)

    Frankly spoken what I really worry about are the big internet providers in Germany who use Chinese electronic componets at sensitive places. This, combined with the wide ignorance of our politicians, is the real menace for me. Not the little spy in my living room. And yes, it is indeed a nice toy.
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2019
  11. NotAdmin

    NotAdmin Administrator

    Interesting you refer to China. I know this is off-topic, but over the last few days, Reddit has been aflame with footage of the Tienanman square massacre. Like multiple posts showing documentaries (or the same one over and over) and reminding people that the Chinese government willingly butchered thousands of its' own citizens.

    Most of the Chinese people don't even know it happenned. It's simply been erased from Chinese news history, and anyone attempting to report on it will get harassed by "security officials". I recall seeing a reporter attempting to do a piece on it, and having a bunch of plain-clothes people opening umbrellas in order to disrupt the broadcast.

    With what they are doing with AI, and basically building a fucking AI-driven real-life version of Orwell's 1984, it's a scary proposition. And yet, at the same time, every other super power in the world seems to give them a pass.

    China is fucking rotten to the core, and the people in control of that country are many many times worse than the very people we in Europe label the worst people to have ever lived. Mao was a piece of shit, and his successors are arguably worse.

    I currently own a Huwaei phone, but that's going out the fucking window very soon. Thing is, pretty much everything we buy nowadays contains Chinese components. Thank god I don't have to order baby formula from that shithole.
  12. Jamira

    Jamira Samurai Girl

    Well, I don't think it's off-topic. Running effective AI software for purposes like the Chinese government can become very dangerous. It leads directly to Aldous Huxley's "Brave New World". (I have to reread it!)
    A rating system for citizens will work like the mechanics of an online game. Patricipants want to become better and better to increase abilities and get more money and power. Following the rules made by others. This is indeed a double-edged sword. Big question is: can we avoid it? Or do we want to avoid it? To throw your Huwaei phone to the window is one thing. But what will you do next? Don't use any smart phone anymore? Or buy an iPhone instead? (Manufactured in China)

    And if Donald Trump missused NSA or FBI to bash Jeff Bezos it would be a scheme we all should be afraid of. That would truly be 1984.
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2019
  13. Just Googled to refresh my memory:

    The proverbial saying 'power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely' conveys the opinion that, as a person's power increases, their moral sense diminishes. ... "Absolute power corrupts absolutely" is the best known quotation of the 19th century British politician Lord Acton.

    So, nothing new and only way to fight back is via elections (in a democracy of course).

    Lots of stuff to worry about today and tomorrow for sure but I try not to and won’t let techno fear change my mobile phone use nor online banking etc etc.

    Will the best in humanity save us from the worst? Will we save our planet or soon destroy it?

    Anyone watched the Black Mirror episode ‘Metalhead’?

    It can’t happen can it?

    Sorry for straying off topic but, well, the future ain’t what it used to be!

    • Like Like x 1
  14. Jamira

    Jamira Samurai Girl

    This is the next theme: the executive. We have a real menace today from quadcopters. Even illaterated folks from IS can and will use quadcopters for attacks. Our advantage atm is that we are higher educated. All in all attacks from extremists will be a minor problem. The main problem is AI hand-held by executives. Combined with highly developed technologies like monitoring software, drones and robots. Another step could be what the movie "Minority Report" pointed at. Based on a novell by Philip K. Dick from 1956, released in 2002, it desrcribes a system of prevention by means of data and estimations. Or Fahrenheit 451 written by Ray Bradbury in 1953, released as movie by Francois Truffaut in 1966 (Must watch or reread it again)

    Tbh, my life span is something around 20 years, probably shorter. So what? Do I really should care what will happen in 2050? Hmm ... grummel ... dunno ... what for? ... I'll be off ...
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2019
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  15. Jamira but we do still care don’t we? More so even I would suggest?

    Maybe these issues become more important for us because the clock is ticking and we have less time to try to change things?

    Or because we are wiser, or think we are?

    Even this thread in a forum about a game that few people play...maybe it’s worth it, worth sharing one’s concerns?

    Small acorns and all that.

    I don’t have kids but I do know young people I care about and worry for their future above my own.

    Thanks for the reminder about those books Jamira. :)
  16. Wistrel

    Wistrel Kick Ass Elf

    Totally unrealistic! That would never happen!
    (the robot would have 4 legs and a manipulator arm so it wouldn't have to llimp)

    I guess Charlie Brooker has been keeping up with Boston Dynamics then...

    • Like Like x 1
  17. Either way Wistrel those robot dogs really freak me out...sort of a menacing techno-organic combo.

    Also I instinctively sense that manipulator arm would lunge at my Crown Jewels to quickly incapacitate me.
  18. Jamira

    Jamira Samurai Girl

    I am not sure if I still care. I have two children alive. Both live their own life, completely different to my life. They are not interested in VR, AI and reading books. Although they will be affected by AI much more than me. I think it's their part to care for their furture, isn't it? But they do nothing. They don't care for such evolutions. So I confine myself to destroy climate and nature, consume resources, produce waste, lean back and watch the drama.

    Today I advised Alexa to play music from J. S. Bach and started to read Huxley's "Brave New World". A basic element of this brave world is "conditioning". I think it will play a main role for mankind in near future. We already have "influencers" in social medias an at Youtube. Real people so far. But have a look at Sophia from Hanson Robotics:

    Okay, it's far away from real AI. But it's a good start. At other hand, confronted with a terrible guy like Will Smith it's completely overstrained:
  19. Jamira

    Jamira Samurai Girl

    VR and AI will be helpful at many many filds. No doubt. Like most other things there are always two sides of the medal. I'm curious what will happen next years.
  20. Jamira

    Jamira Samurai Girl

    Well, fear is the price you have to pay for meaningful learning and cooperative technical systems like this two robots who communicate and work together. The one without arm could wear the arms ...
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2019

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