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IKEA sent out an AI survey and what in the name of eftersökt are they planning?! – A N I T H
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IKEA sent out an AI survey and what in the name of eftersökt are they planning?!

IKEA sent out an AI survey and what in the name of eftersökt are they planning?!


Imagine walking through an Ikea store where all the furniture shouts, “buy me!” That’s not happening, but maybe it could?

Image: Antonio Bat/Epa/REX/Shutterstock

Ikea, what in the name of eftersökt are you planning?!

The design store — where roughly a bajillion millennials have purchased a build-it-yourself cabinet and whatever a “frakta” is — recently released an online survey that asks respondents what they want from an artificially intelligent assistant.

“Do we, for instance, prefer talking to a machine, or do we rather want it to be more human-like?” asks a woman’s voice in a short animated introduction to the survey. “Should it have a human personality, so it can be friendly, funny or impatient? Do we want our technology to grow up with us?”

The survey also asks whether this AI should have the same basic beliefs as the human(s) it interacts with, whether it should gather data, and more. The questions probe how much importance respondents place on privacy, and whether people want their AI to shut up and listen or challenge them a bit.

IKEA has been as vague as possible about how the company plans to apply these answers to its future products, furniture or otherwise. For now, the survey’s “about” page describes the whole thing as “playful research.” We’ve asked if they might be able to provide some more specifics, but haven’t heard back as of this writing. 

Who knows — maybe one day soon, you’ll walk into your kitchen and have a conversation with your fridge, your coffee machine, and your dishwasher.

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Anith Gopal
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