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Bringing AI to Smart Home

In this post we will discuss the current paradigm of the smart home, what does it mean to apply AI to smart homes and finally the next stages of The Silly Home.

Current paradigm : Static rules

At the moment, when you setup your smart home an inevitable and dreaded step is to create all the routines that you need. This involves thinking about the logic of how you want your smart home to behave and statically creating the rule. A simple example is: IF motion sensor triggers Then turn on corridor light.

As you add more and more devices to your smart home, this opens up more and more opportunities to enhance your smart home experience. On the flip side, this drastically increases the complexity of your routines and rules. The number of possible permutations of a rule, equals to the number of devices * the number of possible states of the other devices. In general this can be stated calculated as assuming 2 possible states per device.

Possible combinations of rules

There are 3 issues with this.
  1. Unmanageable rules – Rules created get more and more complex up to a point where its almost impossible to figure out why certain devices trigger or not trigger. The logic of the rules can also be difficult to comprehend when there are multiple conditions.
  2. Lower impact – Due to the complexity, only the easiest rules are created. These do not capture maximum value each device can provide for you.
  3. Static – Logical rules are static and requires adjustment each time you add a new device to the smart home. This can be time consuming and difficult, especially as the number of your devices increases.

New paradigm : AI in smart home

Let’s think what an ideal smart home solution is.

A perfect smart home should perform actions you would have done given you have full control of all devices in any place and at any time.

Perform actions you would have done
There is an episode on Black Mirror “White Christmas” where a digital copy of a person is created and forced to perform tasks for its master. This technology although cruel was used because no one knows you better than yourself.
AI Machine Learning essentially does this. By training on data, it aims to learn from your patterns and predict the actions you want to perform.

Given you have full control of all devices in any place and at any time
This is another key aspect to the smart home. By having omni-present control of your home allows you to do things differently than if you are only physically there.
AI connects to all your devices and provides control to every aspect of your home, whether you are at home or another continent.

The Silly Home

For The Silly Home, I envision the final product to be an API service controlling devices for all platforms and device manufacturers.

The immediate MVP is to create an addon in Homeassistant. This will give access to the Homeassistant community, full of hackers to help accelerate the development of the final product and prove that this new paradigm is valuable. Feel free to get the addon on Github and contribute to the codebase.

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