Get ready for a bizarre future where your couch speaks to you anytime you land your ass on it – courtesy of none other than your favorite ready-to-assemble furniture retailer, IKEA.
The company’s Denmark-bound innovation lab Space10 is currently surveying people about what they’d like to see in a hypothetical virtual assistant, which means the Swedish manufacturer could be contemplating embedding its furniture with AI tech in the future.
Titled Do You Speak Human?, the survey seeks to establish what customers would like to see in a potential virtual assistant for smart furniture.
For the most part, the questions circle around things like what preference you have for the assistant’s gender (with male, female and gender-neutral as options) and whether you’d like your AI-powered helper to be more humanlike or robotic.
The survey further asks whether you’d like your virtual assistant to reflect “your values and worldview,” “detect and react to [your] emotions,” and even follow the same religion as you.
It also touches upon issues like privacy, asking users to indicate whether and under what circumstances it is acceptable for the AI to collect data about you in order to improve the overall interaction experience.
IKEA has previously dabbled in high-tech solutions with its wireless charging-equipped tables and smart lights, but the Swedish manufacturer claims that for now Space10 is merely conducting research out of curiosity for how “people feel about” AI, downplaying the initiative merely as “playful research.”
But in case one day you hear a mysterious robotic voice asking whether you’d like your lights adjusted, don’t be surprised if it happens to come out of your sofa.
Now take the survey here and let IKEA know what features you’d like see in your AI-powered furniture.