Learning by watching: How manufacturers are adding AI to our kitchens

Artificial intelligence is making our household appliances ever more economical, ever cleaner and ever faster. Your next oven will watch how you prepare food – and learn.

Mention artificial intelligence (AI), and many minds will turn to science fiction – to Data, the android from Star Trek: The Next Generation, or to R2-D2 from Star Wars. But how about your oven?

“In the future, it will not be the pure hardware feature of a TV that decides whether it is successful on the market, but the artificial intelligence it brings with it,” said Mike Henkelmann, Managing Director of TV at Samsung.

Speaking at the IFA tech fair in Berlin, where the world’s leading manufacturers of electrical appliances gathered to show off their AI-based innovations, he explained that electronic devices – whether cookers, washing machines or televisions – will increasingly be able to understand and interact with us.

The basis for this is a large data set, which the devices constantly search through in order to adapt and improve their performance. This means that the more you operate a device, the more opportunity you will give it to analyse your usage patterns, and the smarter it will become.

In other words, ovens will start to remember how you cook.

Bosch has unveiled its first AI oven with artificial intelligence at the IFA. “If you always turn off the oven roasting your chicken at the same time, the device will quickly learn that,” explains Thomas Salditt, head of the Digital Business Enabling department at Bosch Siemens.

How quickly the oven learns will vary. “It depends on how consistently you cook,” explains Salditt, “and you’ll have to cook a few times.”

Users will also have to feed the devices with data by continuously transferring the recorded values to the network via an app, because the actual brain of the AI is not located in the device itself.

“If you simply don’t connect your device, it can’t extract data from the cloud and can’t learn,” explains Salditt. Bosch plans to add AI to all smart Series 8 ovens in the “accent line” collection by early 2020.

Smart devices will primarily be geared towards user comfort, and there are already plenty of ideas in the industry as to what this could look like in the near future.

For example, If you like to drink a glass of milk before bed, your refrigerator will prepare itself for this routine over time by cooling down shortly before your usual bedtime so that the milk is pleasantly cold.

And, because the fridge learns from your behaviour, it will come to know that you won’t be opening the door again until morning, enabling it to limit cooling and save energy.

And AI won’t just be making kitchen appliances smarter. Your dryer will soon also know what the washing machine is doing.

Devices that would previously work separately will soon work together in a coordinated manner. AEG, for example now synchronises the washing machines and dryers of their 9000 series via app.

The iQ700 series activeLight cooktop from Siemens and the smart extractor hood can co-operate, with an integrated air quality sensor analysing the rising fumes so that suction is always provided at the right level. – dpa

Source: TheStar