"...the people dealing with these new technologies will still be derived from the human stock we're familiar with today."
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.
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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