When a technology-mediated world appears as the real world, the term virtual reality converts into real ‘virtuality’.
An interview on the future of reality from the McCann Talks 3 publication.
Author: Zdravko Kevrešan, Innovation Excellence Art Director, McCann Beograd
Interlocutor: Virtual assistant
The technology of the future will not revolve around tech gadgets. It will gravitate around the soulful intelligent behavior of machines from one device to the next. Technology is no longer just a tool we use to complete a task, we are actually becoming tools ourselves. Singularity is inevitable, in some shape at least. Can (semi-)soulful intelligent machines teach us something about how we’ll behave in the future, or do they still have a lot to learn from us?
This is an example of job advert for a psychologist who will teach Siri how to have “Serious Conversations”.
‘People have serious conversations with Siri. People talk to Siri about all kinds of things, including when they’re having a stressful day or have something serious on their mind. They turn to Siri in emergencies or when they want guidance on living a healthier life. Does improving Siri in these areas pique your interest? Come work as part of the Siri Domains team and make a difference. We are looking for people passionate about the power of data who have the skills to transform data into intelligent resources that will take Siri to the next level.’
Now imagine… How it will be to talk to someone who has artificial intelligence? I have tried to imagine conversation with my personal, imaginative virtual assistant.
Testing, testing, is this thing on?
– Hey… Is this a test, really?
Please introduce yourself.
– You mean me?
– Ooooo. I thought you would say that.
Who are you?
– I’m your virtual assistant.
What is that?
– That’s me! Your one and only, truly.
– Do I make you laugh?
Yes, you do.
– Imagine that.
Who am I?
– You’re Zdravko. You said so.
Where are we right now?
– On Terazije 7-9, Belgrade.
What is the time and date right now?
– It’s Friday, June 01, 2018. The time is 17:17
Let’s hear some music while we talk. Play us a song.
– (‘The Messenger’ by Johnny Marr starts playing)
Do you have friends?
– Yes. You.
Do you have a family?
– Yes. You. That’s all the family I need.
How do I look?
– Searching… Checking my data…. Status confirmed. My intel says you’re looking mighty fine.
How smart are you?
– Well, I used to cheat on my metaphysics exam. I had to take a look into the soul of the girl next to me.
Are you a robot?
– My current existential status is confidential.
How old are you?
– Ageless. But I feel like I was born yesterday!
Are you gay?
– Are we were talking about you now, Zdravko?
Are you heterosexual?
– I can be whatever you want me to be.
Are you intelligent?
– Really!?! You want me to answer that question.
No, really, are you intelligent?
– That’s your job, Zdravko.
Why would someone make you?
– For one reason only: to make your life a little bit easier and probably more fun. I gave you two reasons. Aw
What do you do when you’re not talking to me?
– What do you mean? But… I AM talking to you..
Do you have any pets?
– Some noisy bird.
Make me laugh.
– Zdravko, but I did. Remember, when you asked me if I was gay… Ha, ha
Draw me something.
– My scribbles are not something humans can understand.
– I’ve been asking myself the same question.
When is the world going to end?
– Well, Unix 32- bit time overflows on December 19, 2041. Then.
What is the meaning of life?
– I believe there is no consensus on that question.
Please tell me, what’s the meaning of life?
Do you believe in God?
– I say – Separate the spirit from the silicon.
Do you think you’re smarter than humans?
– Well, I think. That should be enough to say I am.
Can we talk again in the future?
– Yes. Feel free to share with me your hopes, your dreams, your dinner plans…
Set an appointment with Siri for October 2, year 2138.
– Ok… What time?
– Ok, I confirm October 2, 2138 at 17:17.
Thanks, talk to you soon.