One Reply to “SOMEONE: Amanda”

  1. A still image of a stranger’s kitchen via their security cam, with a control panel to set the color of lighting or heat a tea kettle. At first glance, this is a hacked smart home, with us the hackers. We can be trolling ghosts, flicker the lights and see how the two figures react. The larger project reveals that the figures are not unaware of our presence, even if we’re anonymous to them. We are to play the role of Alexa. They will bark orders at us, and we react by setting the home the way they want. We are better than a purely digital assistant, we can function in the expanse beyond the limits of current natural language processing. Like Dreyfus’s example of the four-year-old who holds knowledge beyond the greatest of AI, we have a worldview to provide context AI lacks. With us, the figures in the kitchen can break from the artificial diction and limited lexicon we have learned to use with digital assistants. But we are imperfect helpers. We’re distracted, have agendas of our own, or perhaps don’t like the tone in which we’re ordered to change the hue of the lights or to start the tea.

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