Oh dear. Just days after LG took the wraps off its new CLOi-branded robots, the brand’s smart home assistant failed during an on stage demonstration at the Consumer Electronics Show on Monday.
It started off swimmingly. David Vanderwaal, LG’s vice president of marketing, outlined a bold vision of the future to the Las Vegas audience. LG plans to include its ThinQ artificial intelligence platform to all of its smart home appliances. Choosing a recipe on the refrigerator will tell the oven to start preheating at the correct temperature, for example, and if any of the products suffer a fault they can arrange a repair themselves. Central to this vision is the CLOi home robot that responds to your voice commands, enabling you to say things like “what’s my schedule today” and “what’s for dinner tonight.”
At least, that’s the idea in theory. While CLOi started off listing Vanderwaal’s schedule for the day and outlining the correct washer settings for his sports gear, eventually the bot just gave up listening. Laughter rippled around the audience as Vanderwaal brushed off the technical mishap with a joke, pushing on with the presentation. It didn’t stop there, as the bot again failed during a cooking section.
“CLOi, are you talking to me yet? What recipes could I make with chicken?” said an exasperated Vanderwaal, as the bot again failed the register his command.
Watch the battle between man and machine below:
The CLOi smart home bot is just one part of LG’s robot lineup. Others include a shopping cart bot, a drinks serving machine and a porter bot for use in hotels. These larger machines bear some resemblance to SoftBank Robotics’ Pepper the Robot, a machine used to assist customers around the store.
If LG’s conference showed anything, though, it’s that these bots are unlikely to wreak the sort of havoc depicted in dystopian sci-fi works anytime soon. While the new season of Black Mirror draws into question our relationship with technology, showing how new machines could alter society through automation, many of these fictional scenarios start with the assumption that the machine actually works from the start.