Ready to give away another human sense to computers? Well, it’s been more than 100 years since we digitalized our former senses, namely eyes (through photos and then videos) and ears (through gramophone and all following sounds systems). In the meantime, with computer vision, speech recognition and (Alexa-like) voice assistants, machines mastered these senses (almost) at par with our systems. Now the machines got already pro in sound and sight, they are ready to digitize another item of the holy 5 senses (Ok, Ladies, I correct: 6 senses). The smell will become another sense acquiring digital encoding. The pathway will , most likely, resemble previous senses digitalization. First, machines will learn to reproduce (smells), then to detect them and later to act on specific smell patterns. Don’t get mistaken, digital scent is no sci-fi anymore. Companies like Olorama or Aromyx are already developing smell simulators. Also, with vast records of online fragrance purchases, your smell preferences might already lay encoded in data vaults of Amazon and alike.
You might not realize, but the whole digital smell initiative is not a pointless, AI self-indulgence. Unlike other animals, humans severely underuse the olfactory “muscle”. So, as scents become another (software) interface, maybe we seize our final chance to close the olfactory gap to other species.
But this wont’ be just a nice, aromatic experience. As with sound and visual look, also the smell can be unique (human) identifier. Legal rule books, thus, will need to adapt to protect individual (smell) privacy as well as somebody lock-patenting basic natural smells (like rose). And your pedometer might as well be replaced one time with under-arm smell sensor. Well, I smell some action ahead …
Publikované dňa 10. 1. 2021.