Screw You, Apple. Screw You, Microsoft, Google, and Everyone Else Trying to Force AI onto Me
It started innocently enough. Spell Check. At first it was a separate stand-alone program but as computers became more powerful, it was incorporated into the word processing programs themselves. No more did it require a separate step; you could merely click your mouse on the word that was underlined in red, and it would give you a few choices of what you might have been trying to type.
In time, particularly with the spread of cell phones, tablets, and other mobile devices, AI started appearing on those devices. It wasn’t actually called “AI,” but that’s what it was: auto-complete, auto-correct, and a few other names. Now your machine had the power to finish your word for you, and even to predict what it thought you were going to type.
That’s where I finally drew my line in the sand: I DIDN’T WANT IT! On my iPhone, even if I turned those features off, they still forced themselves on me.
What’s my beef? For one, when I type the word “my,” I don’t want my phone replacing it with “mysterious.” Or “my-co,” and turning it into a hyperlink that goes nowhere. What was envisioned as an aid to writing has now become a pain in the ass, as I have to re-read what I’ve written and retype the errors.
I understand that email programs and word processors will now type your messages and documents for you. We are rapidly approaching the point where some computer wag’s words in the 1980s are coming true:
“The fully-automated factory of the future will have two employees: a man and a dog. The man will be there to feed the dog, and the dog will be there to make sure the man never touches anything.”
My friend in the ’80s said that he believed we humans were put here to create our replacement, the next step in evolution: a non-biological intelligence. Looks to me like we’re already getting there.
Robyn Sinéad Sheppard is an award-winning former PBS news producer, videographer, and self-published author whose work, featuring her ex-wife’s art, was selected for display in the Brooklyn Museum of Art. She writes on a potpourri of topics including philosophy, memoirs, satire, gender, and basically anything else that pops into her head. A dedicated fan of the Oxford comma, she is fluent in several languages including English, Sarcasm, and Typonese. Of all of her other achievements, she is proudest of her daughters and grandchildren.