Showing posts with label AI. Show all posts
Showing posts with label AI. Show all posts

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

The most human-like "robot" in the world is itself a human

 If robots have a choice, I don't know if they want to be made by humans. After all, although robots are carrying heavy objects, doing investigations, serving dishes and washing dishes, and want to take care of the tedious tasks of human beings, they are considered too cumbersome and inflexible. And if it is too flexible and smart, it will be judged to make people fearful. Some people are afraid that they will be attacked by robots in the next second.

Of course, if the robot can really make a choice, it will be even more frightening.

In this era when robots become stronger and make people feel flustered, there are people who hope that people can help robots become stronger, and they must use robots to eliminate the loneliness behind humans. Not only to eliminate the loneliness of humans, but also to eliminate the loneliness of the supporters behind the robot.

In this robot restaurant, the waiters are all human

It may be because of the serious aging that Japan's attitude towards robots is much more relaxed. Although less than every household can accept robots and treat them as family members, Japan's acceptance of robots is far higher than other countries.

An obvious example is that other countries' film and television works on robots are "Love, Death and Robots" and "I, Robot", while Japanese film and television works are "My Robot Girlfriend" and "Master Robot". The former is keen to imagine the threat of robots to humans in the future world, while the latter wants to work hard to reconstruct the relationship between humans and robots. The body may be a machine, but the emotions belong to humans.

The uncle disguised as a robot went to the toilet and shocked the people around him. Picture from: "Uncle Robot"

The cafe that just opened in Tokyo in June this year is the best example of "machine body, human heart". This is the result of the project of Avatar Robot Cafe DAWNver.beta. We can also call this cafe the Avatar Cafe.

One of the characteristics of Avatar Cafe is the robot waiter, but unlike other robot cafes/restaurants, its waiters are all controlled by humans.

Although the robot itself has an operating system, humans give orders and the robot completes its tasks. But usually several robots are controlled by one person, and commands are given through the system. The difference of the Avatar Cafe is that the controller behind each robot is a real person, and the exclusive operator of this robot is called the "pilot."

The person lying in the hospital bed is the ``pilot'' behind the robot

An important reason why these "pilots" need to provide services through robots is that they cannot provide coffee services on site. They come from all over Japan. Most of them suffer from diseases such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and spinal muscular atrophy. They have limited mobility and are disabled people who have difficulty getting out of their homes.

With Avatar Robot Restaurant, "pilots" can work from home. By home, hospital far programmable system robot, "pilots" can also provide services to customers at the cafe line. A patient with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis who works at Avatar has also worked as a barista. He can even input data into a computer to provide customized services to make coffee according to customers' preferences.

These robots are 120 cm tall, and the "pilots" can control the computer by moving their eyes and fingertips to control the robot OriHime-D. The robot has a built-in speaker, through which the "pilot" can talk to the guests. Even the "pilot" who cannot speak can also use the artificial voice service to speak.

Promotional poster of Avatar Cafe

Through OriHime-D, people with limited mobility can also see the guests’ movements and expressions at home, and then feed back the voice service from a human perspective. They can even convey their thoughts through the emojis on the robot’s "face" and body movements. Have physical communication with customers.

Before the opening of this coffee shop, the founder of the robot maker Ory Laboratories had long dreamed of using his robot to help people with disabilities work. Therefore, before the Avatar Cafe received enough crowdfunding funds, he was trying to promote the mobile robot OriHime-D to enter more restaurants to provide services.

Cafe picture

A reporter from the Japan Mainichi Shimbun once went to a local burger restaurant to experience OriHime-D's service. The service behind it was a 24-year-old girl suffering from spinal muscular atrophy. The other party said that she often provides services to elderly customers who are not adapted to the mobile Internet era, and she can introduce them how to buy and how to pay according to the habits of the elderly.

When the elderly feel inconvenient in this cashless coffee shop, it is the people behind the machine who provide the service. If they have been unable to complete the self-service payment, OriHime-D’s eyes will light up green-this means that the pilot is providing services: "You can try to deflect the bar code to the right to make it easier for the machine to read."

Robots providing services at the cash register

She will also make product recommendations from a personal perspective, whether it is based on age or gender, or based on solar terms, these are all subjective recommendations for planting grass. From this perspective, OriHime-D is a robot that "does not need" artificial intelligence, because these are replaced by the pilot behind it.

"Replace" robots with humans and become rigidly needed

Robots were born to do high-risk jobs or do things that humans can’t reach. The original intention of robots was to help humans.

Most of the robot application cases we have seen belong to the field of heavy industry. They carry heavy objects, cut materials, and assemble components. And the most common ones around are the service robots in restaurants, and the sweeping robots at home.

As one of the robots, OriHime-D also undertakes the mission of doing things that humans can't reach. It is difficult to use one person as a spokesperson for the disabled, at least in terms of cost control, this is not a cost-effective business.

The existence of robots makes it possible for these people to be hired. Even though there are more cases that can be used for marketing promotion, it is also very helpful for people who can't get out of the house. Yoshitomi Taro, the initiator of the Avatar Cafe project and the creator of the robot, said:

Of course, there is a possibility of failure at the beginning, but all we have to do is find the cause and improve it. My ultimate goal is to create a hopeful society for people who use wheelchairs or are bedridden due to illness, where they can work and serve others. I want to use this cafe as an opportunity to make cooperation with virtual robots an option for society.

OriHime-D in service

Yoshitoto Taro was often unable to go to school because of illness when he was young, and it was difficult to integrate into the school after he recovered. His inability to communicate with others was his long-term experience. These special experiences made him hope that he could "eliminate loneliness." When he was in college, he therefore proposed the idea of ​​communicating with people through robots, but the deeper and deeper his understanding of artificial intelligence, the more he felt that he was looking for the wrong direction.

In his view, it must be humans, not computer programs, that can reduce the loneliness of others. So he began to connect the lonely and trapped people with ordinary people, allowing them to communicate and create new memories.

In this process, the people behind the robot can communicate with people. They don't need to be trapped in a room of several square meters, and load on the robot to go to work and service. The people being served can also communicate with others. They don't have to face the artificial intelligence and standard templates that answer the questions, because there are real human attendants behind the robots.

Looks like a robot waiter, but actually humans are providing services

China also has similar public welfare platforms for the visually impaired. When the visually impaired encounters difficulties, they can upload the platform for help by taking photos and other methods. People who are not visually impaired can use their eyes and voice to help the visually impaired in 1-2 minutes. In this link, the visually impaired people do not rely on automatic recognition algorithms, but on the connection, help, and communication between people.

This kind of person-to-person communication is probably more important as you think. We introduced in "Anyone Afraid of Being Killed by Robots, Only Japanese" that Japanese nursing homes will purchase certain robots to accompany the elderly. This is true, but beyond that, what Japanese old people still need is love from humans. Robot scholar Marketta Niemelä said:

When I was investigating in Japan, I found that Japanese elderly care institutions rarely purchase a large amount of robotic equipment. On the contrary, people need more care from human beings.

Before the humorous and charming artificial intelligence systems like "Her" have been produced, the world may need more OriHime-D to help the two humans communicate, helping both the server and the served. .

The male protagonist in the movie is in love with artificial intelligence through headphones. Picture from: "Her"

Return to the essence of robots and serve humanity

There is a well-known person in the group that meets the requirements for the use of OriHime-D, and that is Hawking. Also suffering from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Hawking’s work tools are made by the world’s top technology companies. Apple provides facial recognition and eye tracking technology for his wheelchair, Microsoft provides computer systems, and Intel provides A supplementary context awareness toolkit.

But there is only one person in this predicament, Hawking, onlookers marvel at his smart brain, and smart people provide tools to help him continue his research. It is normal for other people in this situation to be ignored. Even if there is an ice bucket challenge for fundraising purposes, it is still difficult for the neglected to get practical help, and it is difficult for them to prove their worth.

The technical support of Hawking wheelchairs is the major technology companies

Robots like OriHime-D may not be as powerful as Hawking's wheelchair, but he brings hope to more sick people.

Through these seemingly stupid robots, it is possible to "go out" to work and communicate with people normally. These initial projects may become one of the selling points of commercial stores, just like small shops like "Bear Claw Coffee", but if you stick to it, this may be a normal future.

Paralyzed runner Adam Gorlitsky can challenge the marathon with the help of exoskeleton; paralyzed patients can use brain-computer interfaces to make up for their own mechanism defects; visually impaired people can also quickly adapt to the Internet world through auxiliary functions such as narration.

Paralyzed runner Adam Gorlitsky broke the world record with the help of exoskeleton

Whether it is a robot or an exoskeleton, these technologies have been given to help human use at the beginning. In today's social progress, the existence of similar technologies may help more neglected niche groups, giving them more opportunities and future.

While Boston Robot Dog and Virgin Atlantic are exploring commercial technology and the boundaries of the universe, there are still people using robots to serve the neglected people, and they want to use robots to help people who cannot move to establish more communication connections. When people are worried about the negative impact of the development of technology, the existence of robots such as OriHime-D still brings people peace of mind and hope.

Thursday, April 15, 2021

Is the Internet of Things the "Super Internet"?

 Midea has mastered the customs clearance script for the intelligent industrialization of the whole house. The launch of this conference on April 12 may also provide a valuable reference and model for the trend and development of the industry in the next ten years.

In 1999, the concept of "Internet of Things" was born, but consumers 20 years ago did not care much about what the word meant. Witnessing the explosive development of the Internet in the past two decades, people gradually understand and even start to look forward to a real scene in the era of the Internet of Things.

Accenture once did a survey, what are the IoT landing scenarios that users are most looking forward to? Most consumers have chosen home furnishings, confirming the consumption potential of smart home appliances. A recent press conference reflected the exploration and achievements of Chinese companies in the field of smart home.

On April 12, at the Midea x Douyin Superpin Day Smart Small Electronics New Product Launch Conference with the theme of "Smart Everything", Midea launched more than 50 new smart home products at one time. As the first global top 500 home appliance company in China, Midea, with 53 years of home appliance manufacturing experience, has been paying attention to smart home appliances very early, launching so many new products at one time, which also illustrates Midea’s strategy of promoting full-category smart products and full-scenario smart interconnection coverage. The layout has begun to bear fruit.

It can be said that Midea has mastered the customs clearance script for the intelligent industrialization of the whole house. At the starting point of the new decade of the smart home industry, the holding of this conference may also provide a valuable reference and model for the trend and development of the industry in the next ten years.

Intelligence without scenes is pseudo-intelligence

After ten years of development in China’s smart homes, the focus of the industry’s attention is no longer a single intelligent product. After all, with the current technical conditions and industrial capabilities, it is not difficult to develop an intelligent product, but the product cannot be interconnected and experienced across scenarios. It must be fragmented, and it is impossible to upgrade to a smart home.

Therefore, the product foundation for customs clearance is the interconnection of things, and the prerequisite for ecological openness is cloud-cloud interconnection.

Almost every player who is interested in smart home cares about the ecology, but the Internet has followed the usual free and low-cost strategy, using traffic to make explosives, resulting in the average annual reduction of the unit price of domestic consumer-grade IoT products by about 5% in recent years.

Adhering to the “things” as the core of Midea, it has taken another path. It is scene-oriented, strengthens user operations, reconstructs product iteration ideas, and develops a complete whole-house smart ecosystem.

In this system, the mature cloud ecosystem promotes the continuous evolution of product intelligence.

Midea has achieved full-category smart products and full-scenario smart interconnection coverage

In May 2019, Meiju APP completed the most important version 5.0 upgrade, introduced a new scene design, and began to create a real whole-house smart experience.

At the new product launch conference on April 12, we can also see a large number of smart products developed based on vertical segmentation scenarios. The cross-scene context linkage capabilities have been greatly improved, and the scope of user customization has continued to expand. In the foreseeable future, The whole house smart experience will inevitably enter a full-blown period.

On the other side of the system is the evolution of Midea at the channel end.

Home appliances has always been a channel-defining industry. The development of the past few decades has been twists and turns. The deep integration of large-scale low-cost manufacturing and offline store models has created the first round of brilliance in China’s home appliances; in the era of e-commerce, home appliances as standardized products It is also the biggest beneficiary; in today's experiential consumption era, personalization is respected, reverse customization is rising, and products and consumers need a new way of communication.

Observing the trend of consumption changes, Midea began to break the game in both directions.

First, in large home appliance stores, promote scene display to replace outdated shelf display.

Research shows that when consumers make the final decision, 80% depends on the scientific and conspicuousness of the product display. Ingenious dynamic line design and scene embedding can upgrade static products to dynamic sales. The IKEA of the year benefited from this. .

In the past, sales staff in home appliance stores followed the three-sentence rule, “If you are active, you will move, experience if you can experience, and speak as soon as you can speak.” However, today’s smart home appliances are still in the early stage of consumption, and sales staff accurately grasp the product. In addition to selling points, it is also necessary to redesign customer interception and transform scene perception to create deeply embedded empathy. Leo Burnett has a famous saying, "Selling steaks is actually the sizzling sound of fried steaks." This logic is for intelligence. The same goes for home appliances.

Brand new beautiful smart small electric super experience store

Second, smart small electronic terminals drive an experience beyond expectations.

At this press conference, Midea’s new smart small electronics experience terminal was also publicly unveiled at its first store in Chongqing, and tried to use the first cloud shelf method in the store, which will not occupy the storefront, but can also expand the imagination of SKU and consume The user can pass through the waterfall flow of the high-definition large screen to complete the order and delivery of a full set of smart home appliances based on various life scenarios.

While improving the ecology, Midea also created a brand new shopping experience. The complete whole-house smart ecosystem provides the highest matching consumption space for Midea products.

"Things" are the key

In 1990, Bill Gates spent 7 years and spent US$60 million to build the world's first fully intelligent mansion, but after just 30 years, it is no longer the enviable goal of the world. Because most of the science fiction dreams 30 years ago have become reality. Those new technologies that were once unclear and breathtaking have already flown into the homes of ordinary people.

The announcement on April 12th will give us an insight into how smart smart home appliances can be.

Dozens of new products released by Midea at one time are all based on intelligence + practicality, starting with scenarios to create new experiences.

The 8 Quick series products can be said to be lazy house welfare. In addition to being highly intelligent, fully automatic, and multi-functional, the cross-scenario IoT will give consumers a completely different experience. Take the QuickMore integrated cooking center as an example. Through the modular design of the whole machine, the combined upper cover or body can be replaced to realize the switch among the four major forms of induction cooker, boiler, pressure cooker, and air fryer. Through the IoT interconnection, you can also download the new functions and recipes in the Midea Meiju APP to the product body to customize the exclusive functions of this machine. In the future, it can also be equipped with an integrated stirring lid to transform it into a smart cooking machine, or with an exclusive transparent glass pot to realize visual food cooking, and expand the machine's more ways to play. Based on many possible extensions, the QuickMore integrated cooking center is called by Midea as its first cooking "toy" since its establishment 53 years ago. The entire Quick series perfectly interprets what is meant by "AI gives you freedom and releases your hands for love and love".

Midea's new Quick series of smart new products

The new hard-core technology shows the world the achievements of Midea’s “full digitization and full intelligence”. In addition to new materials and new processes, there are also many black technologies for cooking and environmental cleanliness.

It is not difficult to see that Midea has already had in-depth research and insight into the main consumers of the new generation who are gradually grasping the right to speak. On the one hand, they have a preference for high-value, personalized, customized, high-quality, and unique functions. On the other hand, It is their strong agreement with the stratification. In response to this insight, Midea has developed a multi-brand + IP set of crowd-level operation strategy. The Toshiba brand is geared towards high-quality middle-class people and is deployed in the high-end market; while the Hualing brand, as a new technology species of Midea's Internet small electronics, caters to the young generation's pursuit of beauty, personality, and fun, and is oriented to the Z generation and the two-dimensional young group.

Not only that, Midea also launched a series of high-value, powerful, and social-oriented fashion products at the press conference. It is also a joint collaboration between the official announcement and the MOBA mobile game King Glory to launch a series of strong associations with the game. product.

Midea officially announced the set of small household appliances jointly launched with King Glory at the press conference

Ecological experience never borders

Not limited to the product level, the other fulcrum of Midea's promotion of whole-house intelligence is ecological synergy at a broad level.

In the past five years, 1,000 companies in China have been involved in IoT technology and applications. The beauty is that few of them have core technologies at the perception, IoT, and application layers, but they have always maintained an open mind.

As early as 2016, Midea and Huawei signed a strategic cooperation agreement to jointly promote the construction of smart homes. In 2019, the IoT products of both parties entered the mutual trust channel through account binding, which truly realized "cloud-cloud docking", giving consumers the opportunity to enjoy cross-category , Cross-scene information sharing capabilities.

In the "Top 100 Private Enterprises in China" released by Hurun in March this year, Huawei and Midea took the first place and second place. This is not only an affirmation of the strong alliance, but also a recognition of the future of smart homes.

At the Huawei 2021 whole-house smart product launch conference held not long ago, Midea was also a strong platform as the fastest landing partner of HarmonyOS.

In addition to the in-depth cooperation with Huawei, Midea also has similar cooperation with companies such as OPPO, VIVO, and JD. The focus is neither on hyping concepts nor establishing barriers, but on creating disruptive experiences that exceed expectations.

While expanding the smart ecosystem, Midea is also exploring the boundaries of user expectations.

Not only is it satisfied with providing smart products in all scenarios, Midea also extends the user experience to a broader ecosystem and is committed to providing a full set of healthy eating solutions. As early as 2016, Midea launched a cross-ecological chain innovation cooperation with COFCO. Based on the big data of Midea's smart home appliances and user health management needs, it opened up COFCO's supply chain and supported users' one-click purchases. At the press conference on April 12, Midea also displayed its preferred ecological raw material products, covering brand ecological cooperation in the entire culinary field such as rice, grain, meat, vegetables, meals, tea, etc., creating a complete set of It's so good to use the closed-loop full-process ecological experience.

The cooperation between Midea and various upstream and downstream brands has covered the cooking ecology of rice, grain, meat, vegetables, meals, tea, etc.

With the rise of quality consumption, there will be more and more segmented scenes covered by smart home appliances. New products such as coffee machines, bubble water machines, tea brewers, and milk tea machines will inevitably emerge in endlessly. While enhancing the joy of life, they will also be smart home appliances. The cross-industry chain cooperation brings greater imagination.

In the long run, smart home is not a simple function and experience innovation, but a new way of life.

In "Doraemon", every time the protagonist Nobita is beaten up by life, Doraemon will save the scene in time, and also comes with a soul massage, "I never make mistakes, you can trust me."

Consumers who are willing to pay for smart products are actually paying for the good life they dream of.

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