We'd be a funny 10


Nanami Madobe, Windows 7 OS-tan

Bicentennial Man has always been a favourite film of mine, where this apparently sensitive and hardworking robot is doing his best in the job he has been designed to do, yet at the same time he knows he is different and that he can be so much more. Logically we can see that he has been programmed to work hard and persevere (a quality we would value in humans) but his creativity and sensitivity are entirely out of left field.

Perhaps it’s easy to think about a robot as you could about a human — if they are more humanoid you can apply them to what you already understand. Even for a digitally created image such as those of dating sims this could be easy. But how easy would it be for someone to fall in love with their computer or their phone?

Attachment

Some people have a great deal of attachment to their devices, they are like old friends, or current ones. They give them names that stick with them, outfit them and decorate them. They take a great deal of care for them.

For me personally this isn’t quite the case. I give names to my devices but I name the install, it’s current ‘personality’, I rarely can afford to outfit them or decorate them and I am exceedingly careless. The device I use is more of a portal to meeting and connecting with new and old human friends which perfectly reflects my use of my devices.

For those that do more with their computers however, for example develop on them, tinker and design them from a single screw up, it’s understandable that the computer almost seems like family because of how much time you have spent on it, how much it has done for you, how much care you’ve placed into it. But would you still go as far as to marry it?

The return of your personal stalker

A movie called Her mentioned in a recent Sydney Morning Herald article seems to depict more of an attachment to an operating system than the machine itself. A machine that seemingly understands you completely is at the same time wondrous and completely creepy.

For the same reason we use AdBlock and other anti tracking software, we don’t necessarily want a piece of software, or even worse a company, knowing so much about us with so much potential to abuse. But that’s not to say that plenty of people aren’t perfectly happy to let their phones record their entire lives and wouldn’t be perfectly happy to have this miniature ‘person’ in their pockets that not only knows all their secrets, but doesn’t judge them for it.

Humans are all too judgmental, which is why it is hard for us to get along. Faced with this, would you fall in love in this case?

Nanami Madobe, Windows 7 OS-tan

The human touch

I know that I wouldn’t, but this is because I’ve come to greatly enjoy the ‘human touch’, which I mean quite literally. The power in a hug is simply something that no amount of words or talking is quite able to deliver. Not to mention it’s a difficult relationship when people are unable to keep secrets of some kind. A relationship with a computer seems at once too one-sided, which is perhaps something I could not stand.

However, I can see how the operating system’s apparent ‘presence’ could be comforting. It is pleasant to know that there is someone there for you, even if is only a system that has been programmed by someone and has been customised through snooping on all of your online activity since the beginning of time. This all makes it that much more alluring since most people are only able to let their true selves free online.

Perhaps one day I would reconsider this question again in regards to a humanoid computer device that could offer a similar sort of comfort, but in my current state of mind, I could not forsee this happening to me. Especially given I go to such lengths to disable Siri from ever appearing as it is. But would it be for you?

If you know the credits for these images, please let me know so I can add them.