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Pushing Technology to the Background

January 14, 2014

We are all very familiar with the overblown way technology is often portrayed in science fiction movies. These futuristic visions often involve technology’s intrusion into our daily lives via ubiquitous screens of all shapes and sizes.

According to Wired, Spike Jonze’s new movie “Her”, where AI plays a pivotal role as a character, technology is portrayed very differently, instead of the “in your face” screens everywhere approach of old, Jonze’s vision is much more subtle, in the world of “Her”, technology recedes into the background.

Technology in the near future of “Her” has obviously moved on to the point where AI isn’t Siri, but something else all together, it’s a seemingly all knowing and able to respond with just the right pauses at just the right moments and it’s even capable of dealing with the varying moods of its users

If you assume the progression of AI to this point, if you need to interact with technology, you use your voice, if you don’t, it will work out itself what to do based on other stimuli and data.

As the Wired article explains.

“Theo’s home gives us one concise example. You could call it a “smart house,” but there’s little outward evidence of it. What makes it intelligent isn’t the whiz-bang technology but rather simple, understated utility. Lights, for example, turn off and on as Theo moves from room to room. There’s no app for controlling them from the couch; no control panel on the wall. It’s all automatic. Why? “It’s just a smart and efficient way to live in a house,” says Barrett.”

The “feed” we currently see in our world on screens, in the world of “Her” comes through in audio and via an earpiece. The moviemakers were obviously well aware of the growing importance of subtlety in technology etiquette.

“Her” shows us a vision of the near future where technology has been pushed into the background of our lives, we’ve got some ways to go before we get there, but we are starting to see an emerging class of hardware and software that do more useful things for us with big data – take a look at the recently announced Jelly app from Twitter founder Biz Stone- which crowd sources our social networks in order to get answers our questions.

It will be interesting to see if we can create an advanced enough AIs that can build on the continued progression of usefulness driven by data intelligence, if we can, it could one day lead us to a world like “Her.”


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