Having got Helios one step closer to working (the bug is on Nick’s side now) the rest of the day was spent cleaning out the lab (it looks great now…we just need to configure the Hue Tap, and hide the gently decaying walls somehow) and reading up on Kamin Whitehouse‘s research group and their projects.
Whitehouse’s group had several interesting projects underway, and even though they weren’t using machine learning on end-user programming they had stumbled upon some powerful innovations. I want to talk about my favorite so far, the Marauder’s Map.
Today I waded through a paper outlining the shortcomings of the Nest smart thermostat and its limited success at learning users’ preferences. I also read a long rant from a tech blogger who had tried and failed at basic home automation. The combined (albeit limited) picture I got from the two articles conjured a somewhat bleak status quo for machine learning and user-programming in smart homes. Which of course, is just what an eager young researcher wants to hear (I’ll also try reading some more upbeat literature tomorrow).
It looks good, doesn’t it?