Siri on the ReSound Linx Quattro smart hearing aid a first for AI voice control


I’ve thought about that myself. My two thoughts so far are: 1) it’s a security feature - that by processing the request in the cloud, the OEM can better guard against a compromise of the system involved, and 2) if the request goes to the cloud, the OEM gets to know more about your use of the device, your patterns of behavior

The feedback from device use can have privacy concerns but I remember reading quite a while ago what a godsend manufacturers find in user feedback on item use. In the good ol’ days, a device would just be manufactured, shipped out the door, and the manufacturer would learn very little about how it’s actually used. Same with software products. Now with the Internet a manufacturer can collect tons of data on how a device or piece of software is actually used (usually by opt-in of the user to help future product development, better kills bugs, etc.).

I have worried a little that some bad guy has access over the Internet to some of the use feedback, learns when we’re typically not home, robs the house, etc. And with Alexa, I’ve had the hilarious situation, that the wrong combination of words caused her to call my neighbor’s son on his cell phone in the middle of the night. We didn’t even realize what we’d accidentally done until we heard the cell phone ringing through the Alexa speakers, as he tries to answer (and wake up), I’m saying, “Alexa, hang up” and trying all the different words I can imagine will tell her to stop but the sound of his voice over my speakers is competing with mine. I didn’t even realize who we’d managed to accidentally call until I went to the Alexa app, looked up the name and number Alexa decided to call.


The other issue is when the supporting cloud service for your system is discontinued you are forced into a change. That already happened when Samsung bought SmartThings. People had to rewrite some of their version 1 routines to work with the version 2 cloud infrastructure.


Great post! The video actually activated my own Google Home at one point.

Right now, I wouldn’t say that any ambient AI assistant provides much “companionshp” but with chatbots that Microsoft and others have experimented with, one can see that an intelligent conversationalist for lonely isolated seniors is another possibility for these devices in the (distant?) future. And if you’re hard of hearing, you’ll at least need your HA’s to be able to converse, let alone make any requests of one’s AI buddies.

One of my favorite most recent scary sci-fi futuristic visions is the movie HER with Joaquin Phoenix as a lonely troubled man who falls in love with the AI assistant/companion Samantha on his phone (represented by the lovely voice of Scarlett Johansson). Before I saw the movie, I thought, “What a dumb idea to make a whole movie about! How can they possibly pull it off.” But it really is a great, makes-you-think movie (perhaps a little vulgar at points).

Going a bit further off-topic here, a similar more horrific movie about human emotions lead astray by AI is the movie Ex Machina, which embodies everyone’s worst fears about mankind’s future with AI.

In the Microsoft course on Artificial Intelligence available at the educational site, there is a module on law and ethics as related to artificial intelligence. The lecturer says that ideally all AI should be eXplainable (XAI). But some AI is not founded on any starting premises, is so complex it can’t be deconstructed, and so, hopefully, is at least Governable (GAI) - humans can set the bounds of allowable behavior and it will follow those bounds (kinda like we hope to govern human behavior now where individual humans are “black boxes,” too).

YouTube (XAI - The Issues)

YouTube (XAI or GAI?)


Actually, a third far more important reason for going to the cloud is to control devices from outside the home (duh to me!). You want to be able to interact with devices when you are away from home. If a device/hub doesn’t check in with the cloud, it won’t know you’re making a request from outside your home, and again, a cloud server for a phone app serves as a better secure middleman than just letting phone apps from outside access your LAN directly, I would think. Takes the onus off the device at home for verifying the outside request is authentic, etc., and puts the responsibility on a far more sophisticated cloud device whose logic and security can be constantly and instantly updated as circumstances merit.

My wife ordered something from Amazon and it got scheduled to be delivered unexpectedly on a Saturday morning when we were out of town. We were actually zooming into Austin, TX at 70 mph on I-35 when our doorbell rang. The wife answered the doorbell with her iPhone, chatted with the delivery person, and asked her to leave the package with our neighbor. Since the doorbell video cam is aimed in the neighbor’s direction, the wife could see the delivery person hand off the package to the neighbor next door and we could relax knowing a several hundred dollar package wouldn’t be sitting on our front doorstep all day long while we were gone. The feeling of seeing and chatting with a person standing by our front door while zooming through space at 70 mph one hundred miles away was surreal.

So it’s very handy to be able to access your home network devices through the cloud sometimes and it would be great if I could answer the doorbell myself through my HA’s and Phone Clip+ while driving if I didn’t have a passenger to do it for me.


Some of the ones with local control have bridges to cloud service for mobile access but they will still work if the cloud service is unavailable.
Vera sets up a secure tunnel to access your hub. OpenHAB and Home Assistant do something similar, I believe. SmartThings is still very dependent on the cloud services for most things.


I see a big problem. I don’t have my “made for iPhone” hearing aids connected to my iPhone because I don’t want phone calls to automatically route to my hearing aids. No matter what I do, the app on my phone doesn’t do what it says it does. My HAs also do not have any physical buttons on them.

Ergo, I need to be able to control my hearing aids and Siri is likely the best option of a bad lot, none of which I like.


At 4’ 21" into the following Science Friday podcast, there is a discussion of bot devices presented at CES 2019 that are related to elderly compansionship and care, foreseeing a big future role there (I’m hoping such allow me to keep living in my own home as long as possible helping keep in check the cost of any future aid services, etc).

In the same week’s show, there was another segment, popularized recently in the press, about how much cardio exercising and weight lifting (or putting tension on your muscles) can reduce the risk of cardiovascular events. Exercise is more effective in terms of relative risk reduction than quitting smoking, controlling hypertension, obesity, or diabetes. There was another segment, the week before, I think emphasizing that it’s not how much you eat, so much as what you eat that’s important in controlling weight - all stuff for which accounts have recently been in the press.

Just mentioning as I’m sure most of us work like to live well as long as possible. I had two extremely long-lived grandmothers, one to almost 98, one to 93. They both outlived almost all their friends (the “younger” one, I’m told, realized that was happening and deliberately sought out younger friends who’d still be around as she aged). .

My father lived to be about 91. Because of mental capacity problems he was put in a nursing home. Almost all of his companions were aged females and similarly slowed down by age. He was a pal-around-with-the-guys type of person and probably felt quite isolated (a male-oriented VA hospital would have been a better choice). So perhaps if any of us end up in a situation like that and have prejudices, fair or unfair, on the type of companionship we seek, we’ll be able to dial up whatever bot personalities we’d prefer to associate with in our HA’s. I once had TomTom GPS navigation software and bought the John Cleese voice for its humor and great British slang and put downs in navigating in the U.S. Maybe someday we’ll have a wide choice in bot personalities to keep us company if we live long into an immobile and lonely old age.

So you many not like the idea of a bot now in your HA’s but if you live long enough and become lonely enough, maybe it won’t seem like such a bad idea anymore.


My lights inside garage is link to garage door and turns on 5 mins with door opens. Out side garage lights are motion controlled, so when a small dog or bigger object move into the range, lights are on for a a few minutes. I just dont need any Alexiri to turn them on or off at all. and it doesnt matter if Internet is off.


Not criticizing your motion-controlled lights. It sounds like you have them intelligently tuned so that they only go off when a certain type of object comes in close range. Perhaps you don’t have any tree branches near your house, or lots of traffic, etc. We have several “motion-controlled” devices and our nearest neighbor does, too. On windy days and nights, the motion of tree branches can set off the devices (or the sun shining through tree branches as they wave in the wind), headlights from cars at night and the sun reflected off car windshields during the day can set them off, too, because the ones in our neighborhood use infrared detectors. The neighbor’s devices are glaring floodlights that not only illuminate his front yard but that of neighbors across the street and go off and on all night long on a “bad” night. It used to be walking up and down our own front walkway would set off our neighbor’s lights. So I think such lights are great if the owner tunes them down so they’re not triggered by just any old thing but otherwise they can be a public nuisance and a nighttime eyesore. A neighbor in our development a couple of blocks away has his set so sensitively that they go off when I walk by his house at night on the OPPOSITE side of the street. I call the effect “penitentiary chic.” It reminds me of the '30’s gangster movies where the bad guys are breaking out of the penitentiary with searchlights from the machine gun towers probing the night. (our devices are video doorbells that see infrared, too, and are set off falsely easily since I have them set on maximum range and sensitivity but they don’t shine lights anywhere).

I back into our driveway, our garage is all the way at the end of a long dark driveway, and I want to turn on the garage lights from the street so I can see everything really well as I’m backing up at night because in Texas if you back into anything and you say, “I couldn’t see it,” you’re automatically responsible (my car is old enough not to have a backup camera). So I want to be able to remotely turn on the driveway lights from far away in the street and not have a motion-controlled light like the neighbor I cited that goes off when any old thing (like me!) passes by in the street.