Whenever I see an automated lawn mower my first is often: lonely. it’s as if I want to ascribe feelings to this free range device which performs this sisyphean service by only cutting millimetres of grass at a time. The device is in nearly constant motion except when it stops to recharge itself. It’s an interesting and peculiar thing to want to have such a visible convenience. How nice to have the lawn in a consistently manicured state without the bother of physical effort. To maintain a mowed lawn becomes a task we can leave to this single device that requires nothing of us beyond it’s charging station and grass to cut.
The device cannot be lonely. It is created to neither feel nor emote. It has its task, its energy source, a program of operation and not more. That is both the point and the dream.
One thought I have about the rise of robots and AI powered service devices is how they are marketed to us as harbingers of freedom and ease. We receive the impression that all we will need to have our wishes fulfilled will be the sound of our voices and an ever receptive personal assistant named Alexa or Siri that will then set the logistical wheels in motion to trigger the necessary steps of wish fulfillment. In this way, we are told, we shall be freed.
It dawned on me, however, that perhaps the fascination of having an Alexa at hand or being able to bark commands at Siri may have less to do with actual freedom and much more to do with the joys of a sleek and modernized subjugation; the satisfaction of the command and control of our surroundings through machines that we appear to boss around.
Slavery is out(dated), automation is our present and future.
Think about who most ardently supports increased automation and the necessary 24/7 surveillance that feeds its learning database.
*Note: this untitled post was in my files unpublished. Until June 21, 2019, that is. I got updates on my phone that 3 such posts were released. I have no explanation. I trashed the other two. I drafted it some time last Fall I think.