Emo­tional de­pen­dence on a ma­chine?

Enterprise - - Business tools -

Rightly re­ferred to as the first ‘ ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence’, Siri is the voice rec­og­niz­ing per­sonal as­sis­tant which has gained pop­u­lar­ity in­stan­ta­neously. De­signed for Mac iOS, Siri has the abil­ity to carry out com­pli­cated tasks such as, web­brows­ing, email­ing, tex­ting, brows­ing through your mu­sic list, re­mind­ing to call your wife be­fore leav­ing for home, sched­ul­ing cal­en­dar ap­point­ments and/ or giv­ing direc­tions to a new res­tau­rant, all this merely by talk­ing to your phone, ‘ All hands- free’. It has a good grasp over spo­ken lan­guage and there­fore it not just un­der­stands a com­mand spo­ken in a ca­sual man­ner but Siri also has the abil­ity to continue the con­ver­sa­tion in the same tone. As Siri is in­tro­duced in IPhone 4S for the masses, one does not need an ex­pert to pre­dict that it would be­come the next big thing within a short time.

Tech­nolo­gies are re­fined ac­cord­ing to our needs and we adapt ac­cord­ingly to those tech­nolo­gies, mak­ing them a part of our ev­ery­day lives. In­cor­po­rat­ing Siri in our daily lives may prove ad­van­ta­geous at many lev­els; how­ever, chances of a dread­ful ram­i­fi­ca­tion also lurk at the sur­face. Due to the soft­ware’s abil­ity to not give re­sponse such as “no search re­sults’, or ‘ I am sorry, please try again later’ and in­stead have the abil­ity to build up con­ver­sa­tions, there are chances of many de­vel­op­ing emo­tional at­tach­ments with this piece of hard­ware.

The pos­si­ble ques­tions which fol­low the in­tro­duc­tion of Siri are whether in­di­vid­u­als would be­gin to blur the dif­fer­ence be­tween hu­man and tech­nol­ogy, at­tach­ing hu­man- like qual­i­ties and at­tach­ments to a ma­chine? More­over, what will be the out­come of such a bond? Will peo­ple pre­fer talk­ing to their phones more than in­ter­act­ing with an ac­tual hu­man be­ing?

De­spite this pos­si­ble con­se­quence, the lat­est tech­nol­ogy and its ben­e­fits can nei­ther be com­pletely ig­nored nor un­der­mined.

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