AI homes were once concepts dreamt up by sci-fi writers such as Philip K Dick in his renowned book Ubik, where tech-operated apartments took center stage. Younger generations associate the technological home with movies that include Blade Runner.
Fortunately, the AI home is a reality embraced by many, and using Alexa and other similar services is akin to using Google to ask for any and everything.
Artificial Intelligence is so integral in everyday activities that an agreed incognito existence only comes to the forefront when a lack of electricity or flat batteries brings it to the limelight. Security cameras in our homes have AI functionalities like unusual behavior detection, voice recognition, and more.
Setup tips for the beginner
Establishing a smart home can be overwhelming; people want to be confident in their purchase because of the costs involved. Ensure your internet is up to spec to avoid malfunctions; it should be 2.4-GHz or 5-GHz. Before buying devices, you need to choose an ecosystem to determine device compatibility.
Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit, and Google Nest are the most popular ones. Next, you would need a Hub that will enable you to control the smart appliances from your smartphone. When purchasing smart devices, check the connection style, if it is Bluetooth or Wi-Fi, as this could affect how it functions within your chosen ecosystem.
Bluetooth has more issues and is slower than Wi-Fi. Confirming if a device is compatible with your ecosystem can be done by checking on the packaging; there should be an indicative logo, which will connect the device seamlessly.
Security, cost, and maintenance
Home security is at an all-time high because of increasing crime rates. The introduction of gadgets like smart doorbells, locks, and alarms adds a level of security. Creating a secure smart home can be cost-effective. If done, use companies that offer package deals that suit your requirements.
This can range from hundreds of dollars to thousands; these packages include security and entertainment, ensuring all elements work well within the ecosystem. AI Security has features like smart locks that allow for hands-free unlocking of doors using mobile devices. Cameras do more than facial recognition, identify human behavior, and more.
Some of us wished we could switch off a light without having to leave the bed or boil the kettle from another room while walking to the kitchen. This is possible with smart electronics and smart homes. The most common AI used daily is smart assistants Siri, Alexa, and Google Assistant.
These take tasks in voice commands and complete them like sending texts or making phone calls. AI televisions can be controlled by voice, no longer with a remote. Smart Locks are innovative, but they also could have problematic safety issues.
A smart home is practical, interesting and the type of convenience busy families need to ease domestic burdens.
The Risk of AI Homes and Similar Technologies
While AI homes can make a positive difference in a person’s life, they come with risks, especially regarding data profiling. Typically, “data profiling” refers to closely analyzing data to make business decisions. When it comes to internet users and AI technologies, insurers, HR firms, or banks can use profiling to deny services or reject high-risk individuals. Similarly, marketers can use your data to show you ads that they believe might appeal to your particular demographic.
While privacy laws in counties worldwide still need to undergo reforms to tackle such issues, it is users’ responsibility to understand the risks of an increasingly digital world. These problems are not exclusive to AI homes, virtual assistants, and similar tools. When users click on privacy and cookie policies or agree to share their data online, they put themselves at risk. Data broker companies, which analyze and trade-sensitive information for a profit, increase a person’s risk of being victim to identity theft, scams, shadow profiles, and other cyber threats.
What is to be done then? On the one hand, educating yourself on the cons of AI and sharing your data on the internet is helpful. On the other hand, you can opt-out of data brokers’ databases by filling out their online forms or use data removal tools (like Incogni) to make this process automatic.