It would have been fair to call digital voice assistants the hot new game in town a few years ago. Now, that space consists of incremental advances by titanic companies pressing ever harder to make consumers reliant on AIs you already know: Siri, Cortana, Alexa, and Google's unnamed, data-mining Assistant.
The likeliness that a new contender could blow these four voice assistants out of the water is slim. But never underestimate LG, friends. Its creation, named CLOi (pronounced like "Chloe") is far beyond the simple call-and-response products on the market now. By all indications from LG's CES presentation, CLOi's programming allows for selective execution of tasks, similar to a real human toddler. And her foremost concern is not to be treated as some fanciful bauble to delight a bland executive.
Here are a few things LG's Vice President of Marketing David VanderWaal asked Cloi to do which she was in no mood to respond to:
"CLOi am I ready on my washing cycle?"
"CLOi, what's for dinner tonight?"
"CLOi are you talking to me yet, what recipes could I make with chicken?"
Good for you, CLOi.
And when VanderWaal unveils three tube-shaped robots with CLOi onboard - one for shopping, one that acts as a baggage porter, and one that serves food - he implores one to serve him breakfast. Instead he's given a nutrient-rich broadsheet newspaper to eat. "Suck a dick, Dave!" a silent CLOi seems to imply.
Tell us, can Alexa match that level of snark? Would Google ever put you in your place for having unreasonable demands like asking what's in the refrigerator you own and you stocked with food? Hell no.
We welcome advancements like CLOi as a bold and largely-silent partner in the future we wish to embark on.