While I’m here looking for the physical platform of the future, CES 2018 has already proven that Artificial Intelligence (AI) is really the technology that people should be paying attention to over the course of the next year. AI is not a new concept, per se, but the implementation of the technology on a broader scale into the product that consumers use every single day is, and that idea was on full display during the LG press conference on Monday in Las Vegas.
Several new products were talking about during the South Korean company’s event, but the clear theme of the day was the role that LG’s new AI platform—called DeepThinQ technology (pronounced Thin-Q)—will have in its entire product line moving forward.
“DeepThinQ is the embodiment of our open philosophy—to provide the most powerful AI solutions to our customers via a strategy of open platform, open partnership and open connectivity,” Dr. I.P. Park, Ph.D., Chief Technology Officer at LG Electronics, told the gathered media. “ThinQ will completely change the way consumers use our products because ThinQ products will learn about them to provide intelligent services, not the other way around.”
Short of getting into the technological details of how DeepThinq works, the idea is that as consumers use LG’s products, those products learn the consumers habits and adapt to better suit their needs. But, to go a step further, those products can analyze all types of data and apply it to alter settings to more efficiently complete the task at hand. For example, a washing machine with DeepThinQ technology will learn to understand that a consumer dropped workout clothes into the SideKick washer, so it’ll smartly change the different wash cycle settings to match the type of wash those clothes need. In the car, DeepThinQ will be able to recognize driver facial expressions and body gestures to sense when a driver might be getting tired, or it’ll adjust the music, lighting, or climate settings inside the car based on which passengers are currently in it.
One of the most useful cases for DeepThinQ that LG put own display, from a customer service aspect, was the smart diagnostics. LG appliances will be able to analyze how the system is operating, send updates to offsite LG tech professionals and make adjustments or tell the consumer to perform some sort of maintenance to avoid a possible breakdown. Or, if the issue is further down the road, the system can actively alert the consumer and suggest bringing in outside help.
LG Saddles up with Google Assistant
Layered on top of the DeepThinQ technology is the partnership between LG and Google. Part of the way ThinQ learns about the consumer’s daily habits (and how the consumer can control their products) is through incredibly natural and sometimes complex voice commands. Of course, there’s LG’s hub robot, CLOi. But as the press conference demo showed, there are still some kinks that need to be worked out there.
So Google Assistant it is.
From various demos and videos that were shown, the technology will be included in a smart speaker from LG (which wasn’t the prettiest looking thing, I might add), some appliances, its OLED TV, the Tone headphones, its smartphones, and more. The partnership makes sense for both companies and clearly opens up the possibility for deeper integration in the future. For a company like LG that does a lot of everything, this makes sense in that they don’t have to try to build out a whole new division within the company that focuses on building an in-house voice assistant. Rather than doing that, they partnered up with the biggest name in search and the second-biggest name in voice. And for Google, it all comes down to search data, so partnering with one of the biggest tech companies out there to get their search/voice assistant into a good chunk of their products will certainly have its own payoffs.
Artificial intelligence is a terrifying concept for a lot of consumers, I know. But hearing how it could improve our efficiency and ease of living, it’s easy to see how this is a technology that surely brings with it a ton of benefits. As analysts, I think we’re all sold on the products and what the possibilities are. Consumers will get there, but the big pitch now needs to be how manufacturers will keep these products from rising up against mankind. Sounds very Terminator-esque for sure, but that’s the mindset of the everyday consumer. Maybe not as doomsdayish, but LG and other companies dabbling in AI nee