IEE Colloquium: Artificial Intelligence in Consumer and Domestic Products

Martin Brown (
Fri, 17 May 1996 12:00:34 +0200



Artificial Intelligence in Consumer and Domestic Products


Professional Groups C10 (Consumer and Domestic Systems) and C4
(Artificial Intelligence) are organising a Colloquium on "Artificial
Intelligence in Consumer and Domestic Products" to be held at Savoy
Place on Tuesday, 22nd October 1996. The Colloquium will provide the
opportunity to look at ways in which AI is used in existing products,
how it could be used in future products, and whether its use would
encourage or discourage the consumer.

In Japan many consumer devices use artificial intelligence, such as
vacuum cleaners, dishwashers and microwave ovens. This is a major
selling point, so that a product is thought to be not worth having
unless it is "neuro-fuzzy" for example. In the UK, and possibly
Europe, there seems to be a reluctance to use AI in products. In the
few instances where it is used, there is often a reluctance to
advertise the fact.

Products are starting to emerge such as the microwave oven developed
by Sharp which uses a neural network to set the correct temperature
and time for the item being cooked. There are now also "thinking"
washing machines, developed in Italy, which are about the sell in the
UK under the Ariston label. These washing machines use fuzzy logic to
set the correct washing cycle, decide how much detergent to use and
the length of time for each cycle. It is too early to tell if these
products will catch on and therefore make inroads into this market,
but clearly some manufacturers feel that the time is right.

Papers are invited that address any of the following issues:

* Examples of AI in use in consumer or domestic products
* Potential approaches which have not yet been applied
* Market consideration, particularly in the UK
* Percieved requirements for consumer and domestic products

The aim of the Colloquium is to discuss whether or not there is a
market for AI in consumer and domestic products, and if so how can it
be exploited. Prospective authors are invited to submit a 500 word
synopsis by Friday, 28th June 1996 to Dr Phil Picton, School of
Engineering and Technology, Nene College, St. George's Avenue,
Northampton, NN2 6JD (01604 735500 ext 3084