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It won't be long before the computer you're reading this from can read your mind.
Scary thought (no offense, computer).
Or maybe it's not so scary.
Emoshape, a U.K. startup focusing on emotional technology, has built the EmoSPARK, what it's calling "the first A.I. (artificial intelligence) home console." The device can be employed for what the company calls the "overall happiness and well-being of its user," along with entertainment — not to mention help finding your keys.
How does it do it? Basically, it reads your body language. Sort of. The device monitors facial expressions and emotions. It can understand conversations. And it knows how to react to said emotions by offering solutions, such as recommending a song or YouTube video or showing an image. It even "chats" with its users to pep them up, if required. If a new user walks into the room while the EmoSPARK is employed, it knows and wants to "get to know" him/her.
The interactions work better with more use. Based on the data continually collected around the user's personalization emotional response, the EmoSpark "learns intelligently what media makes you happy, sad, excited or any other motion you can possibly imagine."
Data from other EmoSPARK devices (cubes) further refines its responses and recommendations.
"Every EmoSPARK has access to a communication grid, accessed only by other cubes, so will be able to recognize other cubes with a similar emotional profile," said founder Levy Rosenthal in a statement. "It can share media enjoyed by other cubes and then recommend this for your enjoyment. It can interact with the family, help with homework and provide up-to-the-minute updates about anything local or global. You can call up the cube and interact with it from mobile devices, via video conferencing or your pc, which will take your home media and gaming to a whole new level."
It's all very Star Trek/Her/Jetsons/Wall-E — pick your future culture poison.
The innovative new technology has seen great success in its Indiegogo fundraising campaign, earning about three quarters of its total goal of $100,000 to date. In response, Emoshape has added a stretch goal of up $300,000 sought to enable functionality with Windows Phone 8, home automation and IBM's Watson.
Production is expected to begin in 2014 for a projected release date of May 2014. The retail price is expected to be $250 per cube.
What's the likelihood that artificial intelligence home consoles will become fairly common over the next decade?