Robot repeatedly ignores presenter's commands during on-stage CES 2018 unveiling

'Okay, CLOi is not going to talk to me. CLOi doesn’t like me, evidently'

Aatif Sulleyman
Tuesday 09 January 2018 20:36
LG suffer voice assistant fail onstage at CES 2018

A robot that is supposed to deliver “innovative convenience” repeatedly malfunctioned during an on-stage demonstration at the CES 2018 technology show.

LG’s AI-powered bot ignored multiple requests from the presenter, drawing nervous laughter from some members of the audience.

It responded with total silence when LG’s vice president of US marketing, David VanderWaal, asked it a series of questions it was clearly supposed to be capable of answering.

“Today I’m going to demonstrate how LG AI is making people’s lives easier and better, both in the home and outside,” said Mr VanderWaal, before introducing a robot that is powered by a voice assistant called CLOi.

The robot subsequently greeted him and successfully answered a question about Mr VanderWaal’s schedule. After that, the problems started.

“CLOi, am I ready on my washing cycle?” he asked. The robot remained silent. “Even robots have bad days,” Mr VanderWaal joked, before moving on.

“CLOi, what’s for dinner tonight?” he asked the robot a short while later. The machine, which was supposed to answer the question by working with LG’s internet-connected refrigerator, remained silent again.

“Okay, CLOi is not going to talk to me. CLOi doesn’t like me, evidently,” he said.

He then used the refrigerator’s touch display to check what was inside, before consulting CLOi again.

“It looks like we should use the chicken. CLOi, are you talking to me yet? What recipes could I make with chicken?” he enquired, once again fruitlessly.

LG describes CLOi, which is designed as an alternative to the likes of Siri, Alexa and Google Assistant, as being “designed to deliver both emotional interaction and innovative convenience to customers utilising AI technology”.

Unfortunately, the demo instead served to highlight a common criticism of smart home technologies – that they don’t always work as they are supposed to.

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