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"...a market economy is essentially a genetic algorithm for solving resource allocation problems..."
- Charles Stross

Voxbox  
  An intelligent home agent.  

This is another of the various ideas for what amounts to an intelligent agent or home manager. Although it seems farfetched to have enough intelligence to interpret human speech and create a response packed into an alarm clock (although this device serves other functions), when this kind of technology pays back its original investment, it will be cheap. Cheap enough to add "smart" to just about any common object.

Yawning, he sat up in bed and stretched.

"It's exactly 9:14 a.m.," announced the voxbox implanted in the side of the bed.

"Thanks for the information."

From Tekwar, by William Shatner.
Published by Ace/Putnam in 1989
Additional resources -

There's also one in the shower. Another example of the same idea is found in The Dosadi Experiment by Frank Herbert; he calls it the Daily Schedule.

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  More Ideas and Technology from Tekwar
  More Ideas and Technology by William Shatner
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