Intelligent appliances should work with humans, not just for them

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Case Study

Our homes are undergoing a massive technological transition — rapidly accumulating scores of smart connected devices, intelligent appliances, and ambient sensors. This evolution brings with it deep fundamental questions of the role of the home in our lives. How might a house full of intelligent appliances and devices better predict our wants and needs? Could these systems eventually work together as one to help manage the dynamics of family life? If such a system could endure through multiple generations of a family, could it serve as a keeper of that family's knowledge/history?

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In partnership with ElementAI and LG’s Office of the CTO, Humanistic’s objective was twofold: design a framework that structured the ‘levels of intelligence’ that an AI enabled home appliance might exhibit, and lay out a compelling vision of the home of the future which enabled LG to push even further ahead as the leader in the smart home and intelligent appliance space.

A redacted image of a project deliverable.

Members of the Humanistic team collaborated with stakeholders at both ElementAI and LG to produce a wide variety of thought provoking and speculative future scenarios based on intelligent appliances in the home.

Imagination activities like this are critical in uncovering future ‘human problems’ that might manifest themselves when our homes and appliances are intelligent. They also help us anticipate how the needs and desires of people might change in response to the future world around them — like with climate change, economic instability, an aging population, and the overall shifting role of the home.

Concept drawings from project deliverables
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Ultimately, we grounded these speculative future scenarios by building a maturity model which defines increasing levels of artificial intelligence, not only in appliances, but in the home in aggregate. This model would go on to function as LG’s north star for successfully executing machine intelligence in the home, and their general AI ambitions for the coming decade.

Watch LG announce their plans and AI ambitions in regards to our work at CES 2020.

"Imagining how machine intelligence might change the world is a complex undertaking. Humanistic helped us tremendously with this high stakes project, moving quickly to embed themselves with our team to execute and contribute unique perspectives. Matt, Shawn, and the Humanistic team brought an invaluable level of expertise and confidence to the table."

Karthik Ramakrishnan
VP, Head of Industry Solutions & Advisory
Services Provided
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Vision & 
Foresight and Vision Development
Scenario and Uncertainty Planning
Market Trend and Driver Analysis
Product, Portfolio and Innovation Strategy
Strategic Roadmapping
Thesis and Thematic Area Discovery
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Research &
Ethnography, Observation, and Street Intercepts
Documentation and Literature Review
Market, Environment, and Horizon Scanning
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Design &
Venture and New Business Design
Speculative Futures Design
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Training &
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