CNET First Look
EmoSpark AI exists to cheer you upWe go hands-on with an AI console that gets hurt feelings when you're mean. It's very early days for the EmoSpark, but this voice-controlled robot raises interesting questions.
[MUSIC] Hello tech fans, Luke Westaway here for CNET. We're taking a look at the EmoSPARK A.I. It's an artificial intelligence for your home. Let's investigate. So the EmoSPARK is a crowd funding success story and what it does Plus it basically could be sorted into two separate categories. So on the one hand, it serves practical function. So you can ask this thing to do things like look things up on Wikipedia. It can play music through YouTube. You can ask it the weather. Or it can tell you notifications from Facebook. Control for that all happens through your smart phone. It's got an app with it, and that monitors your facial expressions too so that it knows who it's looking at. Now that's where the second and more interesting part of this product comes in, because this thing monitors your emotions and it knows when you're happy. It also knows when you're unhappy and it will try it's best So this has been described as a learning machine, so it shows you for example a Facebook notification you don't react very well, it might think twice about showing you one in the future. So as well as building up a picture of you over the time you could also be able to build up a picture of the cube. And that's because you can actually influence the cube's mood by how you treat it. If, for example, you're always really, really nice and polite to the cube then it'll feel good and that'll be represented by these emotions that you can see on screen here. If, however, you are mean or say nasty things or just a bit rude, it will react quite badly and over time that will impact how the cube talks to you and how it treats you. So to start with this thing it's more about the practical side, those things about sort of making the cube learn and developing its own emotions are going to be longer than some things, I'm told. But it is quite interesting. If you say something mean to this and you can see the sorts of emotional site for say terror or fear, it's not a great feeling. You kind of want to be nice to this thing So longer term, another use for this could be linking up with home automation [UNKNOWN] by producing tell the cubes to turn your home appliances on and off. Now, it is quite expensive to start with. It's going to cost $325 to just get the cube, or if you pay $420, you can get it with this standalone camera attachment, which could, for example, sits on your mantlepiece and monitor your facial expressions from there So it's clearly very early days for this product. But it's a really interesting idea. And it's worth asking, would you welcome something like this into your home. Let me know and check out cnet.com for more. [MUSIC]