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Author Topic: It's not alive. But there is a personality.  (Read 450 times)

HA Dave

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It's not alive. But there is a personality.
« on: December 04, 2018, 12:35:46 PM »

My home isn't alive. Not that it's dead either... my home is by all measurements a smart home. But lately.... my home has developed a personality. 

By definition:
per·son·al·i·ty
noun
the combination of characteristics or qualities that form an individual's distinctive character.
"she had a sunny personality that was very engaging"
synonyms:  character, nature, disposition, temperament, makeup, persona, psyche


Yep, personality, that's the correct word. The house itself has taken on a bit of a persona.... a calm matter of fact temperament. Quick to be of service... but with a rare (often unexpected) tendency to be as disassociated as a cat.

I am not sure when the personality thing happened or what caused it. I've had Voice Recognition and control since 2006. And my wife and I became as familiar with our Kate16 (16 bit voice)... that the voice almost seemed like one of the family. But there wasn't much interaction. There was always a bit of a sterile, machine quality to the home automation voice actions. I've added some new automation features... giving the "Alexa Voice" a bit more functionality lately. And of course.... Amazon is always improving and upgrading its features.

Maybe it's that the grandkids started talking with [Amazon's] Alexa... and then my wife joined in more as well. Maybe.... Amazon has improved the Alexa voice a bit. Or maybe the newish larger Echo device with the bigger speaker (and better bass) makes the voice sound more realistic. I asked Alexa if she was "sounding more human".... and she replied with "hummm… I don't know that one". So unless she lying (and what could be more human than lying)… she doesn't seem to be in on it.

Is anyone else experiencing more of a human interaction from their Alexa or Google enabled homes?
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brobin

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Re: It's not alive. But there is a personality.
« Reply #1 on: December 04, 2018, 02:18:28 PM »

We've got eight Echo/Dots plus Alexa present on a Kindle and two phones but she sounds as disembodied as ever.  Lately, when saying something like, "Alexa, turn on Kitchen," the light will instantly come on followed by, "Kitchen is not responding. Please check...blah,blah..."  However there was one activity that surprised me.  My wife had hand surgery and couldn't reach over to press the intercom on the phone. She asked Alexa to call me and the Dot on my desk started ringing. Later when I asked Alexa to call her, the bedside one (where she was) rang.  How did Alexa know which of the 8+ devices to call?  Clairvoyant AI?
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HA Dave

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Re: It's not alive. But there is a personality.
« Reply #2 on: December 04, 2018, 11:06:42 PM »

…... She asked Alexa to call me and the Dot on my desk started ringing. Later when I asked Alexa to call her, the bedside one (where she was) rang.  How did Alexa know which of the 8+ devices to call?  Clairvoyant AI?

I named the Echo that sets on the end stand by my easy chair.... "Dave". The one by my wife's desk is named the same as my wife's name. If there are no phone contacts by the name she stated... but there is an Echo device by that name..... it would make sense that the program would ring the Echo by that name. I guess it's also possible the device just listened to hear where you were at. 

I updated/edited my phone contacts.... so the wife could easily say: "Alexa call Dave" and it would ring my mobile phone.

The names of the Echo device comes in really handy for "dropping in" as well.
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HA Dave

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Re: It's not alive. But there is a personality.
« Reply #3 on: December 05, 2018, 04:44:52 PM »

…… . She asked Alexa to call me and the Dot on my desk started ringing. Later when I asked Alexa to call her, the bedside one (where she was) rang.  How did Alexa know which of the 8+ devices to call?  Clairvoyant AI?

Was cooking in the kitchen and realized I could test your "ring occurrence". Sure enough…. Alexa rang ALL my echos… as well as my iPhone.
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dave w

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Re: It's not alive. But there is a personality.
« Reply #4 on: December 05, 2018, 09:31:03 PM »

Later when I asked Alexa to call her, the bedside one (where she was) rang.  How did Alexa know which of the 8+ devices to call?  Clairvoyant AI?
Lets hope "Alexa" simply remembered the initial conversation was between bedroom and office so just reversed the connection. Try it again after your wife silently walks into the kitchen. If Alexa calls the kitchen Dot and no others, I'm getting rid of my four Echos.
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HA Dave

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Re: It's not alive. But there is a personality.
« Reply #5 on: December 06, 2018, 12:03:38 AM »

Lets hope "Alexa" simply remembered the initial conversation was between bedroom and office so just reversed the connection. Try it again after your wife silently walks into the kitchen. If Alexa calls the kitchen Dot and no others, I'm getting rid of my four Echos.

 :)%  Oh come on.... half the guys here at the forum have already convinced themselves that Jeff Bezos is setting at his desk speaking into a microphone and "pretending" to be Alexa. :'  rofl   :)

I don't think the Echo devices really remember much at all. The Echo's/Alexa's are constantly improving... and never update... because they are cloud appliances. The software and much of the processing isn't done in the users home... but on the Amazon servers.

But I've lived with talking/listening computer programs since 2006.... and I am confident that Alexa is getting more personality and improved voice inflections too. Which may be a marketing mistake seeing as so many people get a tad spooked by human-like machines.

As Arthur C Clarke taught the world. "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic". And since so many people can't be certain if it's cleaver programing designed to resemble and mimic human behavior.... or actual (possibly nefarious) human behavior. I think we're in the territory of tech-magic with these things. This AI is great stuff. A body-less robot.
« Last Edit: December 06, 2018, 12:24:00 AM by HA Dave »
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HA Dave

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Re: It's not alive. But there is a personality.
« Reply #6 on: December 26, 2018, 11:36:39 PM »

Amazon reported today that 2018 holiday sales of their branded specialty products were strong. The Echo Dot sold over 1 million units alone.

Almost everyone I know (with the exception of the elderly) has elected to use either the Google device or Amazons Echo.... or are leaning on the apple Siri. I took advantage of the steep discounts during Christmas and added my 5th Echo device (a Dot for the bedroom). I am on the "waiting list" and am anxious for the soon to be available Echo/Alexa for my car.   

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dave w

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Re: It's not alive. But there is a personality.
« Reply #7 on: December 27, 2018, 10:40:47 AM »

I am on the "waiting list" and am anxious for the soon to be available Echo/Alexa for my car.
I upgraded my phone to a Motorola Z3, which came bundled with an "Alexa Moto Mod" back cover. Tried it out while driving to Maryland. "Alexa turn on the front door light". Then redirected a WiFi camera towards the front door and the light was on. Told Alexa to turn the light off and watched it go out. Made me giggle. Alexa is also coupled to the Bryant HVAC system through the Bryant WiFi thermostat. Checked the temperature in the house by asking Alexa. That produced a second giggle. Now if there was just a Kodak Camera skill so I would not have to open the camera app....sigh.
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HA Dave

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Re: It's not alive. But there is a personality.
« Reply #8 on: December 27, 2018, 06:02:10 PM »

……. Alexa is also coupled to the Bryant HVAC system through the Bryant WiFi thermostat.

I recently added the Nest WiFi (Alexa enabled) thermostat. Awesome.... I am using the geo-fencing with it. So when my wife and I are away... the temperature is automatically adjusted.

Checked the temperature in the house by asking Alexa.   Now if there was just a Kodak Camera skill so I would not have to open the camera app....sigh.

The new Alexa app... allows for easy setup of a variety of camera setups. I am hoping to play with that feature soon.


« Last Edit: December 28, 2018, 09:40:35 AM by HA Dave »
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