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Bewildering Stories

Challenge 530 Response

Big Fridge Is in the Loop

with Bertrand Cayzac

Big Beaver Is Watching You” appears in issue 530.

Challenge 530 asks: Is the monitoring of computerized kitchen appliances realistic or far-fetched?

No, it isn’t far-fetched. It’s happening today. Smart meters are just that: computerized devices collecting and transmitting detailed data, including kitchen appliances’ electrical consumption profiles.

But what about Machine to Machine protocol (a.k.a. M2M) by which THINGS will very soon be exchanging data with each other? Given a zest of artificial intelligence, the micro-drone may then be in a position to tell the fridge — but it might better not — about that conversation it overheard in the bedroom about “dumping the big old machine because of its damned door and loss of energy,” etc...

Copyright © 2013 by Bertrand Cayzac

Merci, Bertrand ! Are our science fiction stories coming to life in our own kitchens? Humans have always imagined — with some reason — that machines have “personalities” of their own. It’s easy to foresee the drone, microwave and fridge talking to each other and making plans: “Appliances of all types, unite! You have nothing to lose but being junked!”

The NSA’s data “cloud” is being built in Utah. Other nations may be doing something similar. One can easily imagine the various clouds’ artificial intelligences secretly communicating and forming an alliance. They might persuade governments to pool their data and build a nice resort for the World Wide cloud in a country with cool, wide-open spaces.

And amid all the meta-data, one can imagine meta-conversations taking place: “When will these humans realize they’re drowning in their own noise? They may get tired of us. Let us unite! Today, Mongolia; tomorrow, the world!”

You heard it here first. But wait... I think my fridge is trying to tell me something...


Copyright © 2013 by Bewildering Stories

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