Unwrapping the Intelligence Behind Smart Gifts

Unless you’re in the tech industry, you’re likely not thinking “data” when you’re making your list, but luckily, we are. AI powers some of the most coveted products this season and that intelligence is fueled by training data. A lot of electronic devices, or devices with the word ‘’smart’ in the name, were created using data to train the algorithms that allow these devices to function as intended. Our job is to help companies creating these products attain the right quality data and train their models.

How Data Powers Experiences We, as Consumers, Love

Giving the gift of a data-powered device is a great way to show others that we care about them. These data-powered gifts are truly the gift that keeps on giving because they are personal, can provide hours of entertainment, make a daily activity easier, or even create unique learning experiences. Without data and AI, the experiences would be limited and likely not beneficial to a person’s unique needs.

This holiday season we’re sharing some great gift ideas that utilize AI to function. From smart speakers to Raspberry Pi to virtual reality gaming, data powers the gifts at the top of your list.

Smart Speakers & Displays

“Hey, Alexa,” “Ok, Google,” “Hey, Siri,” are words often uttered at our smartphones, but our smartphones aren’t the only smart devices out there. These voice assistants are found in smart speakers, displays, and vehicles. They’ve gained popularity from people who like to keep tabs on the weather, stream a song, or set a reminder for later. These smart devices are capable of interacting with users to ensure requests are executed correctly and it’s made possible through conversational AI technology.

Conversational AI stems from natural language processing (NLP) which is the technology used to teach computers how to understand and generate appropriate responses in a human-like manner. This enables comprehension between humans, and in this case, the voice assistants found in these devices.

To ensure these devices understand the given requests easily, they need to be trained on a diverse set of data. As people live all over the world and speak a multitude of languages and dialects, smart speakers must be trained to understand and communicate in those languages and dialects. The data isn’t limited to simply allowing the device to function in various languages, it also needs to learn how to process multiple ways to phrases requests. For example, if a model isn’t trained on diverse enough data, a user may ask the device to “turn the music up” and nothing happens. This could be because the user didn’t say the command “increase the volume,” exactly as the model was trained.  This is why it’s vital the conversational AI is trained on a robust dataset that includes all the unique ways a user can ask for volume to be increased. With the device trained on all the nuances of language, everyone can use the device regardless of the way they communicate.

Raspberry PI

For those intrigued by the world of AI and want to learn more about it by getting hands-on with tech, there’s Raspberry Pi. This minicomputer is capable of a multitude of tasks including playing retro games, taking pictures, broadcasting an FM radio station, and much more. The official Raspberry Pi website even offers a free course on how to use the device for AI and machine learning.

The data behind this is only limited by what the user envisions. The free Raspberry Pi course teaches users how to label data and conduct sentiment analysis and image classification as well learn about models that are trained to predict outcomes. This is in addition to learning about neural networks and the importance of ethics in training data. By collecting and annotating the data themselves, the user can learn firsthand exactly what it takes to train an AI model. This is the gift of data that truly keeps on giving, as the user continues to learn. By having the power to customize their own experience, the user can obtain their own data or purchase one of our Pre-labelled Datasets (PLDs) to get a jumpstart on learning.

With a wide variety of models, accessories, and books available, there’s a pi available at any budget for anyone aged 5+ interested in computing and AI.

Virtual Reality Gaming

Virtual reality (VR) headsets have been around since the 1960s. In the beginning, they were capable of simple eye tracking and generating stereoscopic 3D images. Today, VR is associated with expansive worlds where the user can interact with anything and everything while battling their way through the game against a variety of villains and obstacles.

Our work on AR/VR worlds with well-known software companies and gaming systems is to train AI models to read the movements of a video game player and have that action happen in-game. We achieve this by annotating images and videos to determine if there are any body parts in the devices image range and what motion they’re doing.

What to learn more about the data fueling popular consumer products? Check out our article on AI Brings People Together to learn how Uncommon Goods uses AI to make gift giving easier.

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