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LG’s new AI chip will give your appliances eyes and ears

The battle for the smart home is on, with technology manufacturers old and new seeking to make your home appliances as intelligent and connected as possible. LG has pushed automotive, and particularly its self-driving capabilities, and today it doubled down on its smart home play with the announcement of its own artificial intelligence (AI) chip.

LG said the new chip includes its own neural engine that will improve the deep-learning algorithms used in its future smart home devices, which will include robot vacuum cleaners, washing machines, refrigerators and air conditioners. The chip can operate without an internet connection thanks to on-device processing, and it uses “a separate hardware-implemented security zone” to store personal data.

The comparison is still at a very basic level, but the inclusion of visual and aural data effectively gives your appliances eyes and ears in the home, giving them more information with which to carry out tasks effectively even “detecting physical and chemical changes in the environment” to be aware of anything that might effect its use, such as a vacuum cleaner having to navigate a new piece of furniture.

By using an on-board chip, instead of an external server, the processing also takes places in the device itself, not requiring an internet connection to deploy any of its smart features.

LG has yet to announce any particular products with the chip, though cites “robot vacuum cleaners, washing machines and refrigerators” as appliances that could benefit from the technology. 

LG isn’t alone in opting to fly solo in AI. Facebook, Amazon and Apple are all reported to be working on AI and ML chipsets for specific purposes. In LG’s case, its solution is customized for smarter home devices.

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