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"You have to budget the number of fuzzy rules you use to control a system. It turns out, you can state the optimality principle in three words: 'patch the bumps.'"
- Bart Kosko

Home Manager  
  A device that responds to verbal or other commands; serves as an intelligent telephone answering machine and other tasks.  

There is a short mention of this in Queen of Angels. The unit functions in an apartment that clearly belongs to an upper caste person; it is probably an expensive item. Besides working as an answering machine, it has speech recognition and schedule keeping functionality.

At Mary's whistle the home manager read her messages. Its masculine voice followed her through three rooms as she searched for a lost curl of mineral silver to wrap around her ear. "There's a call from Junior Lieutenant Theodora Ferrero, no message," the manager concluded.
Technovelgy from Queen of Angels, by Greg Bear.
Published by Warner Books in 1990
Additional resources -

There is a continuing fascination for devices like this in sf; another favorite example is the Daily Schedule (DS) in The Dosadi Experiment by Frank Herbert.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Queen of Angels
  More Ideas and Technology by Greg Bear
  Tech news articles related to Queen of Angels
  Tech news articles related to works by Greg Bear

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