Do Androids Dream of Chocolate Cake? Click


Do Androids Dream of Chocolate Cake?

A look at whether voice-controlled personal assistants live up to the hype and at the potential dangers of living in a world where all electronics are controlled by voice.


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Now on BBC News, it's time for Click.

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This week, destressing with a future ball, knocking up Google, and

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shouting at Amazon. Tell me, who is the murderer! THEME SONG.

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Welcome home. How was your day? Awful. That is a shame. I will run

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you a bath and play relaxing music. MUSIC PLAYS. Rory, do I have any

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messages. 17,000 Tweets, and fake news updates. Anything urgent? Your

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boss wants dinner tonight. Is there anything to eat? A scallop which

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feeds four. The oven will come on now and his favourite wine will come

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at seven. And get some chocolate double fudge cake. I have ordered

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it. Shall I apply for a gym membership for you? Mute. One day we

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really will have artificial intelligence in our personal

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assistance which we can talk to and who know us better than ourselves.

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Thank you, Rory. You are welcome. We are not there yet, but we are well

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on the way. What started in our phones with names like Siri,

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Cortana, and, uh, OK, Google, can now control cars and homes too. Echo

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led the way. And Google is coming out in the UK. It is good to have

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personal assistants, but the more we use them, the more trust we have to

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placed in them. OK, Google, is Obama planning a coup? According to

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secret. In his day job, Rory recently discovered that you cannot

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always believe what they say. Obama is going to have a communist who at

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the end of his term in 2018. That fake news story was the top search

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result for that question. Dan Simmons has been looking at some of

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the other unintended consequences of living with these devices.

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As we transition from controlling things from screens to using our

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voice, those providing services could start getting tricky. I am in

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the BBC's Blue Room, a space where the broadcaster posts out new

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technology. And with the voice assistance, it is not all going

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smoothly. Alexa, when is the next train to Manchester? Sorry, I did

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not understand the question I heard. If you have to find out when the

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next train to Manchester is, right now you have to say, open the

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National Rail App and go through other steps. That is not natural.

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You have to go through many steps to find out content from somebody else

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to be the default service provider is very simple. Blame a song from a

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certain provider, tell me the news from a certain provider. -- play me

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a. That is a great thing for that, but everything else is critical. A

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lot of work needs to be done to level the playing field. And that

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disadvantage applies to search results as well. Up until now,

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website and to be on the first page of results. With voice assistance,

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just one answer comes back. OK, Google, how far is the moon? That is

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fine if it is a right or wrong definitive answer. That is what

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companies do most. It is this far from Earth. More controversial if

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you are looking for a product or service. For anyone else, how did

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you get to that position? Only one person can have the first spot.

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Everyone else will have to figure out what did they do, how do they

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work with Amazons and Googles to figure out how to get their results

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first. This is not the end of the world, it is just the end of

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competition as we know it. Oxford University is home to one of the

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world's most influential thinkers when it comes to competition to be

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if we use our assistants to buy stuff, this man believes there will

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be consequences, and they will not be unintended ones. That shift from

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that environment to the digital helper, what is it that you have?

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You have a helper that is voice-activated, you are one step

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further from the ability to look for outside options. Your ability to

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check whether the price you received is truly the best price. You tell

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your helper, order me one, two, three, and you just assumed that the

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helper will serve your needs. The likelihood is that in a two side

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market, the helper is actually serving the platform. Today, your

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assumption, our default assumption, is the price you receive is the

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competitive rice. -- price. And you are suggesting that it will not be?

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I am telling you that it is not. A walk down Oxford's Cornmarket street

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reveal something the professor believes will not be around much

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longer on line. How much is this, for example? How much is this today?

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?5. This gentle man over here, hello, how much would you sell this

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to him, and how much to me? You just met us in the street. The same price

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for everyone. Of course. Absolutely. Do you think I would pay more? No.

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To be honest, lately, tourists by more. Really? You think you made for

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-- may pay more than me? It is one price for everyone, but digital

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assistants will get to know us so well, prices will be tailored to us

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as well, effectively becoming a gatekeeper to the best deals. I went

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to see one of those gatekeepers, Google, and asked them if sellers

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goodbye their way to the top result and get recommended by their digital

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assistant. -- could purchase. The consumer is the main focus for us.

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Doing something like that will not help them find what they want. We

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want to make sure we are focused on what they want. Amazon told us there

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is lots of potential and room for many participants to be our job is

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to innovate on behalf of the customer and then let customers

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decide. By perhaps what these home assistants are most useful for is

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what they are becoming most known for, and that is controlling other

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things around the house. Alexa, turn on the bar lights. OK. Alexa, bar

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lights off. OK. PHONE RINGS. Hi. Dan, are you there? Look, I know we

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have not seen each other, and you think I am crazy, but I was just

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passing by, and... Oh, wait, have you still got that stupid voice

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control thing, what was it, Alexa? Turn on the bar lights. OK. Alexa,

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turn on the microwave. Have I got your attention now? Alexa, unlock

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the front door. OK. It is only me. We set that up. But the lights were

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real, even though the other and in the front door was faked a little

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bit by us to just show you what the potential is of this technology if

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it cannot recognise your voice. In actual fact, Amazon tell us the

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unlock feature for doors is not available on the Echo, and that may

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be the biggest admission there is that there is a lot to be done with

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security on these devices. Welcome to the Week in Tech. . The week that

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Apple said its latest apps laptop was a bad design. And Blizzard, the

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maker of Overwatch, successfully sued a cheater for copyright

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infringement. But Graphine stole the show. They have created a means of

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removing salt from sea water, eventually bringing potential to

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provide cheap water. Amazon has been selling a billion dollars' worth of

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shares a year for a space project. They had to send travellers into

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space in the next two years. In Massachusetts, a robotic arm picks

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up random objects and puts them on a conveyor belt all day and shares its

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information with other robots so they can do it too. It could be a

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warehouse of the future. And a man flew with a robot arm developed in

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his garage. It has six jet engines. It can fly hundreds of miles per

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hour. Although Richard is exercising restraint, he said, for now. Amazon

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Echo, Google Home, maybe one day even Rory. It looks like the rise of

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the digital assistant is upon us. All of these are trying to be wide

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ranging all-purpose artificial intelligence systems. That is the

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technical term, Horizontal AI. That is hard. To cover a lot of subjects

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and too many tasks, these things have to understand a lot of things.

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Rory, tell Stephen I will call him in the office after my train

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journeys. First it works out what I said. Then it pulls out the

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important words. Then comes the reasoning and context it needs, and

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it does so by scanning my calendar and my train timetable and guess is

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that he is the Stephen in the office, not the friend, and then the

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right action needs to be performed, schedule the call and let him know.

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But ROVs best placed to do that? -- are these. Or should we speak to

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other specialist Vertical AIs that it do one job really, really well. X

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dot AI is a company that thinks that. We scheduled a call for his

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secretary, Andrew. It was only after five messages we realised that

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Andrew is actually artificial intelligence, a specialist AI that

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only scheduled meeting. I have to say it interpreted Aaron messages

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and request pretty well. Shore enough, on line is the man who

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invented it, Dennis. Congratulations, you fooled us with

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Andrew. Will we have any general assistants in the future or many

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vertical ones? We imagine this will play at in the short-term future.

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Think Siri, Alexa, so on, they will answer simple questions, but will

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also enable us to talk to vertical AIs which are specialised in doing

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one job really well. I think what will happen is you will have a whole

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plethora of Vertical AIs on your payroll, like Siri and Cortana, with

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13 agents on payrolls to do jobs you don't want to do. There is a whole

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application store for this with different jobs in different needs.

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It will be the same with intelligent agents. You will have different

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needs. Take you for your time. Sender Aaron love to Andrew. -- Send

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our love. In San Francisco, we have been living a very smart life.

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Set the temperature to 72 degrees. Setting to Brita to 72 degrees... To

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be gay I is a faithful servant arranger Rome. Its control comes

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from and read out, and the Nicolet proud of the way it understands when

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you are saying. Turn the lights on in the living room. Turning light on

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in the living room. Make it read. Setting colour to read in the living

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room. Typically, when you have different devices from different

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brands and manufacturers that have a bunch of apps for every device, and

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it is really inconvenient to jump around and switch from one up to

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another. The app integrates with other popular home devices. But like

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most smart home assistance, the commands are pretty basic. In the

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future, we will add scenes. When you wake up in the morning, you can say

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good morning, and then Peter Richel will be comfortable view and the

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lights will be on in certain areas. These home assistance are still a

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little buggy and frustrating at times. But they are getting there.

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And study to feel quite useful. The next challenge is to take those

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assistance outside of the home. Ford recently opened this research centre

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in the silicon valley. One of its main project is to integrate smart

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assistance into its cars. They have been working with others on to work

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in the Alexa assistant. You can find out important information about your

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car. Moto3, asked me ford mobile for my tyre pressure. Your vehicle's

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tyre pressure is not currently showing any warnings. -- Alexa, show

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me my Ford. If you had to wait in a freezing vehicle as it warms up, you

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might appreciate this. Ask me Ford to warm up my car. OK, so your pin.

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Five, six, seven, eight. Sending start command to the car. I mean, it

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is not quite the roar of the engine, but it is surely be causing you can

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do with this technology right now. Out on the road, the assistant steps

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in to make typical in car function of little more hands-free. --

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functions. Alexa, continue reading my audio book. OK, so I can pick up

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where I left off. The three, find the nearest coffee shop. Here are a

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few nearby options... The integration is fun, but far from

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perfect. Alexa still suffers from the same problem that many

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assistants have, rather than talking naturally to it, you find yourself

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having to think about what phrase will unlock the information you

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need. When you're trying to drive, that silicon could quite

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distracting. It has a leg which detection system, so does understand

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what you say, independent of how you say it. I wonder if people will be

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thinking more about Alexa is thinking, rather than what is ahead

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of them on the road. As a driver, we want to make driving safer, so you

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should always keep your hands on the steering wheel and focus on the

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road. And then to your entertainment and entertainment on the road, you

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could use your voice, which is really the safest way to interact

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with the car, in general. James looked at it different in the early

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80s. To get Dolby 5.1 audio. To get realistic lighting effects. Forget

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about 3-D graphics in most cases. Attitudes to games won't exactly

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enthusiastic, either. Sports games. Well, these are perhaps the most

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appalling list of computers to me. This is to cap on. Doing a decathlon

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on a Commodore, white wagging a joystick, is not a substitute for

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fresh air. Ouch. There was one genre of games, though, where the graphics

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and audio did not matter. Where did not matter that you would often be

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presented with a still, 8-bit image, or sometimes just a black screen

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with a flashing white coaster. That screen itself was the window into

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worlds of limitless imagination. Welcome to the experience of the

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text adventure. When competing power is limited, the text adventure that

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players head scratching puzzles and mysteries, all brought to life by

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typing instructions into the game. But the reason that I have taken us

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on this journey down 32 kilobits memory lane is because of the games

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that have been playing on this, the Amazon Echo. It is titled I see

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those old text adventures quite a bit. Leading you through the Abbey,

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the bass approach is one of the sisters. -- abbess. You might think

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playing a game in one of these is like trying to play a game on a

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microwave. Because it lacks a screen or any other way of interacting with

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it other than barking commands at it, but that is exactly how the game

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I am about to play works. Play risque. -- Runescape. This story is

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about an assassin Demon... The player must solve a murder in a

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fantasy realm. The gameplay is like an interaction to make interactive

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version of an audio book. You get on dialogue, then it went for a

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response. Surprisingly, it commands quite a

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bit of your attention, and it is quite a relaxing way to play a game,

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although that relaxing mood is shattered when you hear this. Sorry,

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that is not a valid command. Which you hear quite a lot. Would you like

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to talk to the abbess are now? Talk to the abbess. Sorry... Talk to the

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grocery... Sorry, that is not a valid command. -- talk to the

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abbess. It can shatter the elution and become increasingly frustration

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when it does not understand what you are saying. Which is busily bit of a

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problem for again you play by talking to it. Sorry, that is not a

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valid command. When it does work, though, Runescape

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on the Amazon Echo is fun and immersive. It highlights the

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potential these devices have beyond reading at the weather to you or

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reciting rubbish jokes. Runescape is available by the skill section of

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the Alexa up. -- app. Have a sick bay filled with headaches... When

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Star Trek introduced a device to scan a passionate and, with a

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diagnosis, it was in the realm of science fiction. But 50 years on,

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this dream is becoming a reality. It, we will discover the winner of

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$18 million prize playing a march to such a's medical device. The

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challenge? To design and build a device that will register 13

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conditions. It could and visits to the doctor. We figured out what the

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diagnostic process is, at least the way I am doing it, and build a

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system with that in mind. So it is not like a single device like the

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Star Trek series. It lets us you interact with it on a tablet in our

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prototype, and then plugged in components. So we have a little

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device like this. User will be guided, they are guided to listen to

:23:20.:23:28.

sounds. Des Connor device in your home is really a medical centre

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right in your house. -- this kind of device. If your child is ill, if you

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are not feeling well, it is your first stop. There is a revolution

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coming in healthcare. This is the type of device that is going to help

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give people the power to take care of themselves. And as soon as we

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know who has one, we will let you know on Twitter. Think you for all

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your interactions on Twitter, too, which this week included choosing

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the name of our artificial intelligent to intelligence. So good

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night, Rory. See you soon.

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This edition investigates the rise of the robot butler, looking at whether voice-controlled personal assistants live up to the hype and at the potential dangers of living in a world where all electronics are controlled by voice.


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