Whether or not you own an iPhone, I’m sure you’ve heard the womanlike voice that responds to your every command.
“Siri, find me the nearest coffee shop.”
Not only does my phone know where I am, but it can now respond to me within seconds with the answers to all my questions. Well, maybe not every question, but why not try?
But at what point does the automated voice on the other end of the conversation turn from helpful to just downright creepy? Self-checkout offers a convenient way to get in and out of the grocery store fairly quickly. The weird part comes when I swipe my magic plastic card and a female voice reminds me to grab my receipt.
Someday people are going to say, “Back in my day there used to be this thing called a cashier. And this person would checkout your groceries while making small talk over things like the sale on sweet corn or the snow storm headed our way.” I pray it won’t be followed with by “Now you just swipe your wrist under the scanner, and it draws from your account.”
But who knows what will happen? We are moving away from the personal exchange to a life operated by machines. It’s unlikely we’ll ever have barcodes tattooed onto our skin, but at this point I’m starting to think anything is possible.
Whether it’s your phone, the self-checkout machine, or the ATM talking back to you, think about the purpose they are serving. Are these electronic people are a step towards a better future or are they just another step toward a society that is completely reliant on technology?
These innovations may have created many shortcuts for us, but will these time-savers leave us with more time to improve society or more time to play on our phones?