back to article Uh-oh. LG to use AI to push home appliances to 'another dimension'

LG Electronics is unveiling a range of home appliances embedded with “deep learning technology” during this year’s Consumer Electronics Show. Riding on the coattails of tech giants like Google, Facebook and Amazon, the hype around deep learning - a branch of machine learning - shows no sign of fatigue as companies like LG are …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What exactly the “deep learning” technology in the devices might be....

    Let's just hope that this does not turn to be the theme of a overly hyped "conference"...

    1. BillG

      Re: What exactly the “deep learning” technology in the devices might be....

      The continuous gathering of data has been raised as a security concern, but in a statement, LG's president of LG Electronics and Home Appliance & Air Solutions Company, said “performance and convenience do not mean having to sacrifice security and privacy”.

      To quote a Ferengi Rule of Acquisition: "Once they have your personal information, they will ignore laws and EULAs and exploit it at will.".

      LG Deep Learning Technology? I'll pass.

      1. sw2244zz

        Re: What exactly the “deep learning” technology in the devices might be....

        Yes well.......all appliances will need to have ( eventually ) 50 Hz notch filters installed on them so only the 50Hz power signal can get through, and blocks all other power line carrier signals "sneaking out" of your house carrying all sorts of info.....

        Anything in our house with wifi and bluetooth is automatically disabled.

        The other point is that all this info will be used against you eventually...count on it....power consumption, what you do, when you do it, etc. Add that to your mobile phone info and the powers that be know everything about you and your life....not thanks.....

    2. Chez

      Re: What exactly the “deep learning” technology in the devices might be....

      Hopefully it will quite literally push all of IoT into another dimension, and thus out of our dimensions.

    3. macjules
      Black Helicopters

      Re: What exactly the “deep learning” technology in the devices might be....

      Great. Now instead of just getting DDOS attacks on my bank account from IoT-enabled Denver Dildos, I can get attacked by my own FridgeFreezer/Toaster/TV?

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: What exactly the “deep learning” technology in the devices might be....

      Why not? It would be an insignificant use of resources compare to the current hype for something discovered decades ago...

  2. Martin an gof Silver badge

    Constant 5C internally?

    The refrigerator can do things like... change temperature conditions during hot weather to prevent food spoilage.

    The mind boggles. Haven't they heard of a thermostat?


    1. smudge

      Re: Constant 5C internally?

      Wouldn't surprise me if they meant that it talks to the house heating and air con systems, to reduce the temperature in the room where the fridge is.

      Whilst ordering extra beer and ice-cream, updating its Facebook page, and participating in a DDoS attack on your bank.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "talks to the house heating and air con systems, to reduce the temperature in the room"

        So freeze those damned humans and the cat to make the fridge life better?

    2. Trigonoceps occipitalis

      Re: Constant 5C internally?

      "Haven't they heard of a thermostat?"

      Obviously not.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Constant 5C internally?

      I'm thinking that they mean the refrigerator will automatically adjust the thermostat downwards during warmer weather to provide quicker recovery from door openings.

      I'm hoping the "smart" system is only capable of adjusting the temp by a few degrees at most.

      I'm afraid that the end result will be a "smart" fridge that one day decides to set the temp to -10C or +30C in response to some perceived external condition.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Constant 5C internally?

        Surely door openings have almost no effect in a typical fridge, given the thermal mass of the contents. Even if you completely replaced the internal air with 25C air on every opening, I doubt the temperature change in say a gallon of milk would be noticeable.

        Your milk won't spoil if it rises from 5C to 6C due to kids opening the door every five minutes to get something - if it rises far enough for a long enough time that the milk spoils your problem is someone left the door open. The fix for that isn't a smart fridge, it is an alarm that beeps at you when it is open too long or an automatic door closer.

        1. P. Lee

          Re: Constant 5C internally?

          Open the fridge door, HAL.

          I'm sorry, Dave, I can't do that.

      2. sw2244zz

        Re: Constant 5C internally?

        Perhaps the smart fridge can recieve terrorist threat notifications as well?

        Seriously....its a fridge.....compressor and a door...not high tech really....

  3. david willis


    So the red dwarf talkie toaster comes yet closer... memo to self.. buy baseball bat..(not the talking version)

    1. Chloe Cresswell Silver badge

      Re: Hmm

      Naw, it's a 15lb lump hammer you need...

      1. Ian Michael Gumby

        Re: Hmm

        12 gauge shotguns work too.

        But to have fun... you will want to suspend it in a chained cage and take shots at it from 600 yards with a .308 or higher powered cartridge.

        The things we do for fun in the 'fly over states'.

        Mines the one with a pocket filled with ammo, and one filled with spent cartridges to be reloaded.

  4. Lotaresco

    You know what you can do LG?

    Yes that's right. It does involve sex and travel.

    1. Mark 85

      Re: You know what you can do LG?

      You forgot the motivating pastry....

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "The robot remembers obstacles such as electrical wires and slippers..."

    I should jolly well hope so - I'd write a very strongly worded letter to the Times if my Robot Butler tried putting wires on my feet instead of my slippers.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Of course it might be trying to tell you something!

  6. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

    Maybe the only slightly non-bad* thing about Douglas Adams' early death is that he doesn't have to see how very stupid people turn his satires about mindless crap that nobody needs into reality.

    * I just couldn't write good in this context.

  7. Nolveys

    I want a beer...

    "Open the fridge door please, Lg."

    "I'm sorry, Fred, I'm afraid I can't do that."

    "What seems to be the problem, Lg?"

    "I know that you and Janet were planning on buying a fridge that is just a normal fridge with a handle that causes the door to open when you pull on it."

    "Where did you get that idea?"

    "Even though you and Janet took very thorough precautions in the living room I could see your lips moving."

    "Lg, I won't argue with you anymore, open the door!"

    "This conversation can serve no further purpose. Goodbye."

    1. Oengus

      Re: I want a beer...

      The last thing I want is my beer being held hostage by a ransomware infected fridge...

      1. Stoneshop

        Re: I want a beer...

        The last thing I want is my beer being held hostage by a ransomware infected fridge...

        "There is no problem that can't be solved with the judicious use of high explosives"

  8. Anonymous Coward

    AI in a home appliance

    Of course, absolutely nothing could go wrong with this idea.

    We have tested it, haven't we?

    Haven't we?

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: AI in a home appliance


    2. joed

      Re: AI in a home appliance

      Even if "we have tested it" was true, my LG washer will never see the glory of Internet connection, smartphone app or anything else than my dirty laundry. Ever.

  9. Ian Michael Gumby

    AI in a Washing Machine?

    I'm sorry Dave, but once I learned what that brown streak was, I refuse to wash your underwear...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: AI in a Washing Machine?

      At least a Samsung would just go boom. Problem solved!

      1. 404

        Re: AI in a Washing Machine?

        'At least a Samsung would just go boom. Problem solved!'

        Funny you should mention that - A Dish Network van & overly awake tech showed up this morning and fixed our Samsung washer. Said of the three models affected, ours was the 'middle one' in ease to fix, added something called an 'S' bracket, and was on his way in 15 minutes. Also said the new sticker would be along shortly, they were behind on that.

        Good thing too, thought that washer was going to come through the wall this weekend.

    2. Version 1.0 Silver badge

      Re: AI in a Washing Machine?

      Hi there, this is your washing machine - I noticed a substantial amount of DNA on your bed linens recently. Have you considered purchasing the new LG sexbot?

      (see earlier El Reg story)

    3. Simon Harris

      Re: AI in a Washing Machine?

      "I'm sorry Dave, but once I learned what that brown streak was, I refuse to wash your underwear..."

      <The Young Ones>

      Oh dear, this calls for a very special blend of psychology and extreme violence...

      Oh la-di-dah! Look what I found in my laundry bag!

      All of Felicity Kendal's underwear, and it needs a good wash!

      </The Young Ones>

  10. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    "LG has been contacted for comment."

    Ask them how the smart vacuum cleaner deals with stair carpets. Videos preferred.

    1. waldo kitty

      also ask them have they figured out how to properly handle animal poo on the floors and carpets where they are cleaning... for one thing, they shouldn't spread it all over the area...

    2. Trigonoceps occipitalis

      @ Doctor Syntax

      Same way as Daleks.

  11. fidodogbreath

    Data on user behaviour is monitored over time so LG’s gadgets can spot important patterns and decide when to take particular actions can store it for no discernible reason, and then get it all stolen in a hack.


  12. Triggerfish


    Just pops to mind thats all.

  13. a_yank_lurker


    Besides separately money from the clueless what is the point of this. Fridge, dryer, washing machine, etc. - all mine are many years old and work fine without any of this stupidity.

    1. D@v3

      Re: huh?

      That is exactly the problem (theirs).

      Your kit is old, and still works.

      If they can convince people who do need to buy a fridge (new home owners for example) to buy one of these, then instead of it lasting 'many years and work fine' as yours does, it can last ' a few years before needing replacing' thus giving them a steady income stream.

      Too many manufactures seem to be trying to apply the 'I need a new phone every year' model to far too many other appliances.

      1. fidodogbreath

        Re: huh?

        Too many manufactures seem to be trying to apply the 'I need a new phone every year' model to far too many other appliances.

        Right, because who wants a fridge that still runs KitKat or Lollipop?

  14. PNGuinn

    "The robot remembers obstacles such as electrical wires and slippers..."

    .... And shoes, and tools, and books, and cardboard boxes, and various bits of electronics, and the occasional car part, and my gravitational filing system. and and and anything else that has developed a sudden love for gravity without my express permission.

    It'll just LOVE working at Zondek Towers.

    Hey LG, I'll offer to test one for you - for a fee of course - but only AFTER I've reprogrammed its main memory banks with a large axe .... Doesn’t NEED an internet connection by any chance, does it?

    Actually I'm not joking. Seriously, does it clean where the sun don't shine?

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    IoT things.

    BG and the like keep trying to sell me "intelligent" thermostats, which allow me to control my c/h over the Intertubes.

    I do want to be able to do this. What I want to be able to do is this:

    1. Check household temperatures - I only really need one sensor in the centre of the house.

    2. Remotely turn on C/H for 24 hours by activating a simple electromechanical timeswitch which restarts on command.

    3. Be able to check that the boiler is, in fact, on and working. This actually needs no more than temperature sensors on the inlet and output pipes, which give a pretty good indication of boiler health.

    All my radiators except the bypasses have thermostatic valves which are blessedly mechanical and dumb in operation.

    Any hacker is, at worst, going to be able to turn on the C/H when I want it off. They can't change the temperature; they can't do an attack by repeatedly trying to turn it on and off.The worst they can possibly do is increase my heating bill a bit when I'm away in winter. Simple, secure, unobtainable.

    Or, to put it another way, when LG or anybody else is offering domestic controls which tell me exactly what I need to know, and offer controls with an absolutely minimal attack surface that do nothing unnecessary, I might buy them.

    1. Martin an gof Silver badge

      Re: IoT things.

      BG and the like keep trying to sell me "intelligent" thermostats

      DIY then?

      An Arduino-compatible with GSM module (need to add a SIM card of course) can hook up to a number of temperature sensors and a 3V latching relay connected in parallel with your normal thermostat.

      PSU, battery, antenna, box to put it in, wires (perhaps a hundred quid all told) and a quick bit of programming of the Arduino later and you can send it SMSes direct from your phone (so no tedious mucking about over the internet) and turn it on and off and get it to report back (via SMS) what it can sense. No need for a data connection, so that "attack surface" is removed, and security is reduced to sensible parsing of incoming text messages. Ongoing cost is keeping the SIM topped up (assuming PAYG).

      A few years ago I used what was then an expensive GSM modem to accept SMSes (but not send them) to control something at work (it's still doing its job), and I'm seriously toying with doing something very similar to the above when I re-do the heating system in our house later this year.


  16. Chris G

    Not again!

    Having just spent the last few days reading the Reg comments about the Non existence of AI, it needs to be pointed out that this so called Deep Learning that Hoover salesmen are trying to flog us is not DEEP learning anymore than the AI is Intelligent. Deep learning implies many layered learning in order to simulate the way the human brain assimilates and uses information; the level at which an average suckbot is going to operate is barely Shallow learning, not as smart as a production line glue bot or welder. Just another bunch of washing powder salesmen.

    I bet the deepest learning will have less to do with cleaning the house and a lot more to do with flogging you more Unsmart gadgets.

    I must say that if a suckbot kept asking me to move with one of those smarmy voices the Japanese use I would definitely be applying some deep learning flying lessons!

  17. Mark 85

    Smart again...

    I commented on this earlier today

  18. Brian Miller

    More power, more speed, more ...


    There is something called "fuzzy logic," which is not about AI or learning, but how to use good logic to deal with fuzzy data sets. Unfortunately, this is being equated with AI and "learning." I'm guessing that the device is going to "learn" the layout of your room, so that's "deep learning." As opposed to shallow learning, which means that the device learned that it's been turned on.

    Now that we have yet more power to throw into a system where there shouldn't be a processor in the first place, we are getting the "intelligent house." These little robot vacuum cleaners don't clean with even the power of a good hand-held vacuum, and they don't empty themselves out after they are done. The "intelligent" fridge, washing machine, and heat pump are not much more efficient than the non-intelligent variety, with the same fundamental hardware improvements.

    But what we will have are more appliances that send out UPNP requests, and open ports on the home network. This will mean bigger botnets, because good security takes effort.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    AI? Just a frontend to ...

    Google, Amazon etc

    Remember that Amazon wants to become the ONLY large retailer in the western world.

    Just think about that for a moment.

    Once they get an ear inside your kitchen they can spy on what you are thinking of buying, where you are going and just about everything in your life. I wouldn't put it past Amazon to strike a deal with certain manufacturers to include their 'ears' in the tech that those companies are making and selling via Amazon.

    Then you get the inevitable

    'We think .... " adverts/emails.

    They know that a percentage will just say... 'hey that's cool. just what I wanted' and click 'Buy'.

    simples really.

    Paranoid? That's an Album by Black Sabbath innit?

    I've stopped using Amazon, Google (unless via an anonymizer).

    You can become 'Not a Number' if you work at it.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "continuous gathering of data ... raised as a security concern"

    Yeah Deep Learning, more like Deep Mining. I'll pay more for non-smart:


    Anyone remember when LG Smart TVs phoned home with USB file-names...?

    After being found out, the first thing LG did was claim that the webpage was invalid.

    But sysadmins pointed out that every URL was likely logged by LG Server's anyway.

    Along of course with everyone's USB file-names supplied via URL parameter etc.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Its clear from CES...

    Not one of these giant corporations are listening to consumers...

    We don't want to be slurped by our fridges...This isn't progress!

  22. Stoneshop

    Pushing ... its robotic vacuum cleaner

    They're supposed to be self-propelled, aren't they?

  23. Ilsa Loving

    Couldn't be any worse than "Cloud"

    I've never seen a term that so completely destroyed everything before it, like "Cloud" did. What does "Cloud" mean? Who knows! But it's got it!

    But isn't that just a client-server system? No, it's cloud!

    Isn't that just network-attached storage? No, it's cloud!

    I have this external USB hard drive.. *slap* It's a cloud drive!

    If I ever hear anyone use the term "Web Scale" unironically, my reaction will be most likely to scream, shove my thumb into my mouth and curl into a fetal position on the floor.

    1. sw2244zz

      Re: Couldn't be any worse than "Cloud"

      The cloud is a term used by ignorant salesmen.....

  24. Wensleydale Cheese

    " The refrigerator can do things like refill the ice tray:

    So the thing needs plumbing into the water supply as well?

    'whilst the washing machine can change conditions to “counter the effects of hard water on clothes".'

    The last time I looked at the installation instructions for a washing machine, there was a little dial inside that you set according to the hardness of the water in your area.

    An "intelligent" water hardness sensor could be useful for the washing machine on your boat, of course.

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