"A good science fiction story should be able to predict not the automobile but the traffic jam."
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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'the registration number which the traffic control automatically photographed as she left the controlway...'
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'Then they press one of these here thirteen buttons...'
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'...work a human being does around a house.'
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'Bird-like robots now descended from the ceiling of the theatre...'
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'The efficient robot waiter of the Sky Club had cleared away the remnants of an epicurean meal.'
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'...in the tank the new body and the new mind and memory and life has taken almost instant form.'
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'pirate three-vee satellites sanded out of orbit...'
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'The atmosphere yielded its moisture with reluctance. It had to be coaxed down...'
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