Inhumane Pin

I continue to be skeptical about AI and that skepticism extends to the "AI-focused" products that are coming out this year. Case-in-point: a pin from an unknown company called Humane. They'd like you to think of it as a sort of wearable thing that you can interact with using AI. What it looks like is a very expensive product, spewing confidently-wrong-AI bullshit-filled-responses that will likely sell in tiny quantities. Ron Amadeo at Ars Technica has more.

As far as we can tell, it's a $700 screenless voice assistant box and, like all smartphone-ish devices released in the last 10 years, it has some AI in it. It's as if Google Glass had a baby with a pager from the 1990s.

It's a voice assistant box, so that means it has a microphone and speaker. There's no hot word, and it's not always listening, so you'll be pressing a button to speak to it, and you'll get a response back. There's also a camera, and because you're expected to mount this on your clothing at chest level via a magnetic back piece, you'll be creepily pointing a camera at everyone the whole time you're using it. It claims to be "screenless," but it has a pretty cool 720p laser projection system that seems to function as a fine monochrome screen that projects a smartwatch-like UI onto your hand. It shows some super basic UI elements, like a circular media player or a scrolling wall of text. A few hand gestures, like tapping your fingers together, will let you interact with it.

Ars Technica

Amadeo's thoughts of this thing mirror mine a lot. It's a fancy assistant you would wear. But what about different types of clothes or weather or how men's and women's clothing can differ greatly?

To boot, Humane thought it a perfect idea to release the most low-key, sleep-inducing, low-energy product announcement and demo ever. Don't believe me? Here's 10-minutes of founder Imran Chaudhri and his wife Bethany Bongiorno showing it for the first time:

Still awake?

The cherry on top of this entire thing is some of the answers the pin gave were flat-out wrong. Only hours after that video dropped did people note the eclipse viewing information was simply incorrect. Then the almond information was next with that being incorrect. What gets me is how nobody fact-checked the AI in this before posting the video for the world to see. Doesn't give me great hope for the quality of this Pin.

So the thing looks weird, is questionable with how it will work with all clothing, gives wrong answers, costs $700, has a $24 monthly subscription, and produced by an unproven company. You'll have to forgive me for sitting this one out.

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