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AI: It’s in your home
November 2018, IT infrastructure

The term ‘artificial intelligence’ has been dominating headlines and conversations. It is the technology that’s about to change the way the working world works. The technology with the ability to streamline processes, cut costs and transform business potential. What few people realise is that artificial intelligence (AI) is also changing the way people live.

Joanne Weng
Joanne Weng

AI is revolutionising the home. It is being used to design intelligent living spaces that recognise people’s needs and make their lives easier. Imagine waking up in the morning and walking into the kitchen to a pot of freshly brewed coffee and a note that you’re late for your gym class? Or perhaps looking in the fridge and discovering that your favourite yoghurt, the one you finished on Tuesday, has been replaced? That you don’t need to turn around when you are halfway to work because you’re not sure you turned on the alarm because you were in such a rush. The AI has already done all this for you.

Much of AI’s potential remains unexplored, but these scenarios are the tip of the AI iceberg as is its ability to revolutionise the home. It’s not quite at the point where it can order your groceries, yet, except perhaps in the homes of the super-rich, but the steady evolution of devices and drop in prices will likely see AI become a realistic part of the home sooner than most people realise.

In fact, research firm Gartner has predicted that by 2022 AI devices may have achieved such a level of emotional intelligence that they will know more about a person’s family than they do. Already solutions such as Amazon Echo and Google Home have found their way into lounges and kitchens, personalised to suit a particular person’s tastes and moods. These devices have made AI accessible and easily understandable for most people. They are also learning and changing so they can provide increasingly immersive experiences.

You don’t need a hefty investment or a fully automated house to enjoy the benefits of AI. The average home already has a router, a network attached storage (NAS) device and surveillance cameras. These devices may be as common as the coffee machine, but they can be seamlessly connected to AI to give you complete control over your home.

Want to protect your children from accessing inappropriate online content? Using Siri on your smartphone and an AI-integrated router you can monitor the internet usage of every person in your home and their online behaviour. Simple and effective parental control from anywhere. You can even use this set-up to generate a QR code that anyone can scan to gain access to your Wi-Fi network. It’s a much easier way of allowing people access to your network than fumbling about in a desk drawer for the Wi-Fi password you can never remember.

Have you been woken at 2am by the alarm blaring only to discover it was wind or rain or a random spider landing on the sensor? Invest in an AI-integrated system – they will bypass the tedium of the false alarm and give you a good night’s sleep. Synology’s AI-powered surveillance system is capable of advanced pattern recognition algorithms that will automatically monitor in a way that matters to you. So, you can set the system to allow cats and spiders but notify you when a person enters the premises.

And for those who can never find their photographs or sort them in any kind of usable order? As we take more and more photos on our phones today we don’t have time to organise them like we could back in the day. Some things we also think are too trivial to go to the trouble of creating an album. Instead of leaving the images to sink into obscurity you can use Synology’s AI-driven system called Moments. It automatically sorts the images for you, categorising them based on family members, themes and places, among others. It will instantly sort your photos and uncover those hidden moments you’d forgotten about.

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