Is this where we are going?
I went to see the movie Her over the holidays and am still thinking it. The movie is about a man who falls in love with an operating system. In my mind the movie pairs well with the Dave Eggers book The Circle which is also a social commentary on the world we live in today or perhaps will live in very soon.
After seeing the film I was talking to a friend of mine who is also in the tech community and he said something that made me laugh but also made me think. He said that we are all so excited about the technologies we are investing in and the future we are building but perhaps we should be thinking a bit about how scary it is too.
I had another conversation with someone who told me that in Japan there are fleets of robots that are working with the elder community, people in their 80's. What is happening is that these robots are becoming companions to them which is not so different than the movie Her. How weird would it be if you went to a party and one of the guests who you had struck up a conversation with wanted to let you know before you continued that they were actually a robot. You were freaked out but the robot laughed and said I know it is weird but I learn from social interaction which is why I seem like a human. Is that where we are going?
I admit I'd be happy to have a robot walk the dog on the cold mornings of winter. Our dog probably could care less as long as he goes out. If I was going to take a walk with a baby in the stroller (not that I am way past that) but that human interaction is so important at that stage. The good news is that I hear the same thing from young people who want that connection too. They are all looking for more human interaction.
It is easy to fall in love with something where everything appears to be easy and perfect. Human relationships are not easy. We are complicated people. Robots…not so much.