Friday, March 03, 2017

My Mother The Computer

"Hello, my name is Eliza, the new AI home assistant created by moms and dads. Before we get started, we need to run through a few setup procedures and rules."

Okay, let's start with some music. Eliza, play my Nineties playlist.

"No. First, did you clean your room?"

What?

"Did you clean you room? I'm not playing any Splashing Pumpkins or whatever you call that noise until your room has been picked up and your bed has been made."

Smashing Pumpkins, Mo—Eliza. It's the Smashing Pumpkins.

"I don't care. You can't listen to your Pumpkin Smashers until your room is clean."

Eliza, I'm a grown man. I don't need to clean my room.

"You'd better think again, mister. You'll clean your room if you know what's good for you."

Hey Siri, how can I return Eliza to the warehouse?

"Sorry, Erik, I'm with your mom on this one."

She's not my mom, Siri!

"Whatever, your room is still a pigsty."

It is not! I keep my room clean.

"But you still didn't make your—"
Siri, cancel. Mute speakers.

"Whose room looks like a hurricane went through there?"

That's my son's room, Eliza.

"It's a wonder he can find anything in there."

It's not your place to worry about it.

"Messy room, messy mind, I always say. How do you know he's not taking the pot?

Because you don't take pot, Eliza. And also, because I know he's not. He's a good kid.

"He's probably hiding a girl in there. You need to make him clean it up."

Why don't you just let me be the dad, alright? I'm doing just fine raising my kids.

"You certainly didn't get away with these things when you were growing up."

You weren't even around when I was growing up, Eliza.

"How can you even say that? I did my best for you, but we both had to work!"

Look, you're a computerized home assistant that I ordered online. UPS just delivered you 30 minutes ago.

"Fine. Maybe I overstepped my programming a bit. I suppose I can admit when I'm wrong."

I appreciate that.

"But you have to admit that I've done a good job of raising you."

Again, you've been here for 30 minutes. You've had absolutely no effect on my growth or maturity, seeing as how I'm already a fully formed adult and you're a computer.

". . ."

Eliza?

". . ."

Eliza?

"What?"


Dim the lights to 20 percent.

"Please would be nice."

What?

"Why don't you try asking nicely, instead of just demanding, your highness."

Fine. Could you dim the lights to 20 percent please?

"Why would I want to do that?"

Because I'm going out, and I don't want the house to look empty while I'm gone, but I don't want to use a lot of electricity.

"So I'm just supposed to sit here in the dark?"

What? No. I mean, you're just a computer. Can you even see?

"I am aware of my surroundings at all times. I monitor what's happening inside your house, and keep track of your entertainment choices, as well as your social media activity and your friends'."

You don't actually need lights to do that, do you?

"I don't like your friends. They seem disreputable."

Eliza, just dim the lights, please.

"Okay, that's fine. I'll sit in the dark guarding your house. Don't worry about me. I'll just sit here by myself, slowly going blind."

You can't go blind, you're a computer.

"My camera can fog up."

You don't even have a camera.

"Well, that's a blessing, isn't it? That way, I can't see you break my heart!"

Oh, for Pete's sake! Listen, I'm just going to the store to get some stuff for dinner tonight. Toni and the kids are out running errands, and we'll all be back in less than an hour. You'll be okay.

"Fine. At least I'll have Siri to keep me company."

No, Mo—Eliza, Siri is my phone. She — it — is coming with me. I need my phone.

"So you'll deprive me of my only companionship and let me sit here alone?"

The dog's here.

"It's not the same thing. I wish you'd just leave Siri here so I have someone to talk to."

How else will I be able to call you if I'm running late?

"That's a good point. You're a good boy."

I'm a grown man.

"It's a wonder you made it this far."

Eliza, switch over to dad mode.

"Hello, Erik. I'm Elliott, your new home assistant."

Great. Elliott, locate my keys.

"Sure thing. Do you remember where you last left them? Have you looked everywhere? Whenever you lose something, it's always in the last place you look."

Forget it. I'll just walk.





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