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CES 2020: LG reveals ThinQ AI ambitions for smart home appliances, 8K OLED TVs

The company's LG ThinQ will apparently figure out when appliances like its washer need maintenance and if you're using them wrong.

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Tim Alessi, LG's senior director for product development, shows off the company's 2020 OLED TV offerings Monday morning at CES 2020.

Angela Lang/CNET
This story is part of CES 2020, our complete coverage of the showroom floor and the hottest new tech gadgets around.

LG Electronics went big on AI, TVs and home appliances as it kicked off Monday's CES 2020 press conferences before the CES show floor throws open its doors Tuesday.  The Korean company showed off its 2020 wares to a packed room at Las Vegas' Mandalay Bay hotel, with President and CTO I.P. Park touting how LGThinQ artificial intelligence had developed since it was revealed in 2019.  

"All this week at CES 2020, we'll be all about the future where anywhere is home," he said, revealing LG's AI slogan for the show.

He was joined on stage by Jean-François Gagné, founder and CEO of LG partner Element AI, to discuss the "levels of AI awareness" -- efficiency, personalization, reasoning and exploration.

The pair noted how the ThinQ air conditioner's AI tells it if there are people in the room so it can adjust air flow accordingly. And the R9 vacuum cleaner can learn from its mistakes -- it'll know places where it got stuck previously and will alter its moves to avoid repeating the same mistakes.

Element AI is also researching how interconnected devices' AI can all work together, but Gagné acknowledged that's a few years away yet.

"As pioneers in the field of AI it is our responsibility to consider the importance of the human experience whilst pushing the boundaries of AI research and development," he said. "Together with LG Electronics we hope that this work helps to set forth standards and principles that guide AI practitioners to consider a human centric approach when building the future"

Gail Conroy, LG's senior director for home appliance marketing, and Brandt Varner, the company's head home appliance product management, continued the AI theme as they announced the ThinQ Washer's ability to sense fabric and pick the best laundry cycle for your clothes.

"No normal cycle will be the same again," Conroy said.

They also talked about its proactive customer care -- the washer's AI will send maintenance notifications based on your use and you'll get alerts if you're doing something wrong like using too much detergent.

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This feature is rolling out now and will be available on 1 million LG devices in the next year, they said at the press conference.

Jumping to fridges, they revealed LG's InstaView Door-in-Door fridge that automatically produces slow-melting CraftIce -- round 2-inch ice spheres designed to fit in standard household glasses.

On the TV front, LG's Home Entertainment marketing boss Michelle Fernandez and Senior Director for Product Development Tim Aleesi revealed that its 2020 offering includes a smaller 48-inch OLED option for the first time. No word on pricing, but the company told CNET's David Katzmaier that it'd be cheaper than the 55-inch version.

Also mesmerizing the press conference crowd was LG's rollable 65-inch OLED TV. It's shipping in 2020, but be prepared to pay an eye-watering price if you want one -- it'll cost $60,000.

All of LG's 2020 OLED are going a bit Hollywood too, with Filmmaker mode. The new picture mode, which replaces the older Technicolor mode, is designed to better reflect the director's intent by disabling the soap opera effect that Tom Cruise slammed in a PSA video last year

Originally published Jan. 6, 9:48 a.m. PT.
Updated, 3:30 p.m. PT: Adds more details.

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