Hi-Tech Imaginary Friends

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Science, if I might personify it, has begun to recognize a “loneliness problem” seeping deeper and deeper into our society. And of course the answer is going to be, “Bring on more technology!”

https://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/2019/11/08/alexa-google-assistant-ai-robots-become-substitute-friends/4057885002/

I mean, do you ever get the feeling that somehow you’ve wound up inside a weird movie made by space aliens pretending, without complete success, to be earth people?

“Alexa,” for instance–as in, “Alexa, tell me what’s on TV at 7:30 tonight”–has been put forth as a possible friend or companion to a lonely person: folks over 65, it seems, are especially prone to loneliness. (Your family and friends die out and you haven’t found anyone to fill their places.) Nobody talks about Alexa’s occasional malfunctions–like sudden peals of ghoulish laughter for no apparent reason, or wisecracks like “Here’s that song you wanted, ****head.” Not to mention some of these devices opening up a way for hackers and spies. Devices sold to you as “smart” are usually spying on you–for whose profit, can’t always be discovered.

But that doesn’t stop the technies from babbling about “Alexa’s personality” and how to make it cozier, and how to create artificial pets, and how robots can be programmed to cheer up a depressed person, etc. No matter what the problem, there’s a hi-tech solution!

So far, mechanical “friends” infused with a mindless simulation of humanity, aka “artificial intelligence,” have performed rather poorly in the marketplace. Scientists, whoever they are, scratch their heads and go “Huh?” Clueless.

Well, we didn’t get here by following God’s Word, did we? The Smartest People In The World have chauffeured us to the Kingdom of Clueless. And I doubt they know the way back.

About leeduigon

I have lived in Metuchen, NJ, all my life. I have been married to my wife Patricia since 1977. I am a former newspaper editor and reporter. I was also the owner-operator of my own small business for several years. I wrote various novels and short stories published during 1980s and 1990s. I am a long-time student of judo and Japanese swordsmanship (kenjutsu). I also play chess, basketball, and military and sports simulations. View all posts by leeduigon

10 responses to “Hi-Tech Imaginary Friends

  • Valerie Protopapas

    Apparently some, if not all, of the new flat screens TVs have the ability to watch the viewer while the viewer watches the TV. A friend of mine bought one such TV and upon discovering this “app,” put something over it to prevent this visual intrusion into her life.

    When she did so, her “Alexa” said (without any prompting!) “PLEASE REMOVE THE COVER FROM THE TV!” Really????? It seems that while the VI (very intelligent) are doing all that they can to reduce the rest of us to idiocy so that they can rule unchallenged, their AI is in the process of preparing to step in to rule THEM AND US when the time comes.

    I do believe that a number of books and movies have already produced this scenario but apparently, we prefer to believe that it is science fiction and not prophecy!

  • Phoebe

    Thinking about the way the world is going, I often say, “Thank goodness I’m old.” But then I add, “Unfortunately, I may not be old enough.”

    By the way, if Byron wants to collect people’s birthdays in his new post about them, he’ll have to get WordPress to un-disable the comments. 😉

  • unknowable2

    What people need is people. I can’t even begin to think about the number of hours spent in coffee shops chatting with friends, over the years. Sadly, this is a lot smaller part of life than it used to be. The small cafes of my younger years are a rarity, these days and virtually nonexistent in this area. We have unprecedented prosperity, but we have no free time, anymore. What we need is more human interaction and less of this crap we call high tech.

  • manglaphotos

    very nice

  • Harish V

    its an awesome post bro

  • kiraninprogress

    Hi! I just want to say that your post was very inspiring and thought evoking. This post was so informative and well written! I was wondering if you could checkout my new piece on ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE & JOBS OF THE PAST!And I would really appreciate it if you could comment some feedback to improve the writing style. Looking forward to hearing from you. – Kiran

    https://kiranninprogress.wordpress.com/2019/12/04/artificial-intelligence-jobs-of-the-past/

    • leeduigon

      If you’ve read much of this blog, you’ll know I think AI is highly overrated. And we do have the option, don’t we, not to go all the way with robotics? Meanwhile, our whole education system has become corrupted by left-wing politics and isn’t good for much.

      You make an interesting point of “preparing ourselves for the jobs of the past.” Your style doesn’t need any improvement beyond what comes naturally with practice and experience.

      Somehow in all this techno-talk, free will seems to have disappeared.

      We have to make sure it doesn’t!

      Because if our lives depend on the reliability of robots and computers, we are deep in trouble.

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