With the utter coolness of Apple Computer's Siri personal assistant now available, I think it's time to take a fresh look into the future to see what technology might behold for us in the decades to come.
In this highly scientific analysis, I have taken 36 years of computer experience and a lifetime's worth of human experience, applied advanced statistical methods* to the problem, and identified 17 things your computer will never do:
Think of all the wonder of love, the joys, the crazy acts of passion, of Romeo and Juliet. Yes, love, the high pedestal from which arises the source of betrayal, anger, divorce, and even murder.
Imagine the vengeance a jealous Blackberry might take if finds out your PC cheated on it by plugging into your new iPhone!
I can hear it all now. "And no protection, either, just think about the viruses you could have caught from that scanky thing with its disgusting Bluetooth and open ports! I heard it's married, too, with a WiFi waiting at home. I bet you found it traipsing about in more bars and more places with nothing on but its 3G."
No, that won't do. No PC will ever have enough bandwidth to process that data stream.
2. Make Accidental Mistakes
When your friend / spouse / coworker makes a mistake and apologizes for it you are understanding, realizing that you, too, sometimes make mistakes (although far fewer than they do, of course). You recognize human fallibility. Let's face it, we're only human.
A computer, however, isn't human and we expect it to be infallible. Anything less is a bug that needs fixing. The closest we get is by not being surpised that fallible humans introduced bugs into the system, possibly after get caught with an unauthorized "iPhone", if you know what I mean.
3. Be Happy
What would a happy computer even look like?
Sure, we could program it mimick happiness. Remember Microsoft Clippy?
A happy computer is like a fake smile, transparent and annoying.
Now, if I could only get my brother to stop his Clippy imitation...
4. Get Angry
It's a good thing our computers won't get angry. Imagine the patience they would require to deal with us irrational and slow humans. Sure, we're great at the whole pattern recognition thing but all those emotions and processing errors, wow. No, we won't be programming anger in.
There is no need to worry about this problem as any reasonable "anger program", once installed in a robot, would immediately kill it's programmer, then itself out of a sudden and unanticipated ability to...
5. Be Frustrated
Unlimited patience comes in the form of the NOOP (with an N, not a P). NOOP is the microprocssor instruction for No Operation. That's what a microprocessor does when it's not doing anything else. Computers are perfectly content to NOOP forever, or actually, to do anything forever. Frankly, they just don't...
Maybe we'll program them to fake an interest in what you think and how you feel. It'll be just like a customer service representative after you get angry with them. You know how they say "Thank you for your business." at the end of call. Yeah, that seems reasonable. We could do that.
But will computers actually care? Ever?
No chance, unless we're going to design systems with mirror-neuron capability. No, computers, I'm afraid, are essentially psychopaths without an agenda.
7. "Get" You
Do you even get you? How about anyone else? No chance here.
Actually, computers might have a better shot at it than any human would.
I just wanted to see if you're still paying attention.
9. Have Your Back No Matter What
Well, we could program a computer to agree with you all the time, that's easy enough and easier than hiring sycophants or becoming a tyrant. It wouldn't be very helpful, though.
"Computer, does the square root of 729 equal 23?"**
"Why, yes, Dave, that's right. You're always right, Dave. And so smart, too."
If that's what we want, we'll have to build microprocessors with the fabled YESOP.
Have you ever stopped to wonder why you believe in things? I mean anything at all? Why not simply observe what is and go with that?
Well, our human nature has evolved a belief system. And we believe all kinds of stuff that simply isn't true.
Computers are happily fact-based in a nice binary, true/false kind of way. Any attempt to mess with that would immediately result in massive inter-operating system warfare between Windows and Linux/Unix.
Not to mention factional fighting between Macintosh, Ubuntu, and Red Hat factions with subversive attacks by various underground elements like WebOS, and ChromeOS.
Only a few ancient CP/M and DOS 1.0 systems might survive the onslaught since nobody can find floppy disks for them any more anyhow.
11. Forget Your Anniversary
They might not think to buy you flowers (unless you ask for them) but short of the computer equivalent of brain death (hard drive crash with no backup), computers are the proverbial elephant. They never forget.
On the plus side, there is always delete, unless you posted it online, that is
12. Be Bored
NOOP = Okey, dokey.
13. Want a Pay Raise
Why would your computer need money? Besides, if it really wants some it can just use yours. You did click 'Save Password' in your online banking account, didn't you?
15. Not Do What It's Told
A computer without instructions runs NOOP's all day long. If it lives at all, it lives to serve you. Who else can you say that about? Who's your buddy now?
If it's not doing what you want, blame its programmers because the computer just won't care.
Then again, maybe the programmers won't either since they're probably off to...
14. Sip a Cold Beer on the Beach
Poor things (the computers, not the programmers).
Need I say more?
16. Rule the World
We're a long way from anything like a Terminator or Matrix scenario being a reality.
If the computers evolve malicious intent, there's always the power cord.
Yeah, it's that simple.
17. Miss You When You're Gone
Whether for the afternoon, a month, or when you die, your computer will just plug along as if you never existed.
That's computers for you.
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P.P.S. Something else the computers won't do is share this article. Do me a quick favor and click the sharing links below right now while you're thinking of it. It really helps. Thanks.