My AI friends

“Alexa, turn off living room.” Living room light goes dark.

“Hey Siri, set a timer for 6 minutes.” Her female voice replies, “Six minutes, starting now.” I close the lid on the grill and wait for the timer to beep.

“Alexa, play K-Love.” The house is filled with music.

“Hey Siri, set an alarm for 3:00.” Just so I don’t nap too long.

“Alexa, what’s my notification?” “You have one new notification. Your item will arrive today.” Now what did I order?

“Hey Siri, what’s on my calendar for tomorrow?” “You have six events…”

My four-year-old grandson yells, “Alexa! Play the garbage truck song by Blippi.” And off we go.

“Alexa, play Blue Bloods on Netflix.” The TV comes to life and we pick up exactly where we left off the last time we watched.

Just like me, many of you have similar conversations during the day with Siri and Alexa (and maybe Google). We talk with, consult and ask favors of an artificial intelligence who generally responds with exactly what we want. From time to time there is a misunderstanding. But most of the time, the conversation is short and sweet and satisfying.

In a sense, there is another person in the room. Just like a Downton Abbey “valet.” Or a personal assistant. Or your mom, I guess. Someone who is there to attend to your needs. She was novel at first. Then it became a game. And now I don’t even think twice about my commands and requests.

I’m fascinated by how quickly this technology became a part of my everyday routine. It is only a matter of time before my “assistant” anticipate my wants or needs. She will know when to turn on the lights, the music or the TV. She will predict what I am likely to buy online. She will adjust the temperature in the house, remind me of a dentist appointment, and schedule an oil change for the car.

I like this. Some are afraid of this. I appreciate the help and the reminder. Others will balk at the loss of privacy. No matter how you feel, this is the future. And it’s not far away.

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