Your flat pack furniture is on its way to becoming artificially intelligent

Posted: 8 May 2017 | By Darcie Thompson-Fields

Ikea is conducting research into what sort of AI we want in our homes. With the likes of Google’s Assistant and Amazon’s Alexa in many of our homes, it’s not long before our furniture gets smarter.

The Swedish furniture giant is conducting a survey to find out exactly how people would want their Ektorp sofa or Kallax shelving to assist them. Ikea’s “future-living” research lab in Copenhagen, Denmark, called Space10 aims to understand what sort of AI respondents are most comfortable dealing with.

The survey, titled ‘Do you speak human?’ has found that most people (73 per cent), are comforted by uncanny valley and would prefer their AI to take a human over a robotic form. Yet 44 per cent would prefer their AI to be gender neutral with 30 percent wanting male and 26 per cent preferring female.

Though respondents believe that AI should be able to detect and react to our emotions (83 per cent), the majority do not believe that it should reflect your values and worldview. 74 per cent of people do not want their AI to be religious.

Most people believe that AI should anticipate their needs and behave obediently but only half are comfortable with their data being collected to improve the experience.

When respondents were asked if AI should prevent them from making mistakes, with 77 per cent believing that it should be responsible for at least assisting you from screwing up a flat pack assembly.

To weigh in on how intelligent you want your next side table to be, you can take Ikea’s survey online.

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