9. Appliances

(two paragraphs)

CL: So a conceptual machine is less substantial than something like a refrigerator?
SLAYTON: Just wait, that's going to be the next generation for doing something really cool. They will not only keep your food cold but they'll know milk.

CL: What?
SLAYTON: They'll know milk, and meat, and where things are, and they'll regulate the temperature. They might even know what you want to eat, and start the thawing process for you in advance. I mean, that kind of stuff is right around the corner. We used to say, back at MIT, that any time you're creating an appliance the whole point would be to make the appliance know what it was doing. Say, toasters that know toast or these bread-makers that know bread. You program them and tell them what kind of bread, how to knead it... it's just a totally physical thing making bread, a wonderful experience. And now it's completely automated! I have friends who swear by these things -- plug it in, program it, wake up in the morning with the smell of fresh bread throughout the house. Like Paris!