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Brightest idea ever: A.I. light bulbs

Mike Elgan | Jan. 19, 2016
The best place for Siri isn't your iPhone. It's the nearest lamp.

Apple, Google and the others will jump on this particular bandwagon or be left behind.

Once these appliances cover our homes, cars and offices, we'll interact with our virtual assistants via smartwatch or smartphone only as a last resort while out and about.

The ubiquitous presence of our favorite virtual assistants -- combined with two or three more years of evolutionary improvements in their abilities to converse with and understand us (and do things for us) -- will transform how we use computers and the Internet: Talking and listening will become by far the dominant interface, eclipsing even the smartphone.

That's the revolution: Just as the smartphone started as an adjunct to desktop computing, and grew to be the main way we use computers, so will the virtual assistant appliance grow to take over from smartphones as the preferred method of communicating, getting information and doing things online.

And as the capabilities of this A.I. grow, so too will our creativity and our ability to use it -- and our instincts and knowledge about doing things with apps on a smartphone will atrophy.

Turning light bulbs into Amazon Echo-like virtual assistant appliances is the brightest idea of the decade, and it's going to change the way we do everything.


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