I’ve been talking a lot to my computer lately since I installed on my Mac the Mavericks Operating system. I have been quite impressed by the dictation accuracy of Nuance’s Dragon Dictate and the degree to which I can use voice commands to control the machine. Over the past 40 some years I have followed with interest developments in “communication” between humans and computers. In the 60’s I interacted with Eliza, the Rogerian therapist and in the 70’s the Talking Moose resided on my early Macs—useful toys. But the capabilities of software to “read” text, translate simple conversations, and follow voice commands has dramatically improved since then and become useful in my work. What was once fiction (e.g. The Circle, 2312, Lexicon) is much closer to (dystopian) reality. The challenge remains how to let technology be a tool controlled by (rather than controlling) me. It is easy to be seduced by the WOW factor.
So far I have not QUITE formed a “singular” “SIRIous” emotional relationship with “her” nor discussed serious religious beliefs . Now, my relationship with books is another matter!