I am human.
(The Imminence of Artificial Reality)
I am writing this on paper. It feels weird.
I was raised to write and touch and smell. Nowadays the only things I touch are the sensitive surfaces of my laptop and my smartphone.
The only things I smell are those that can’t be smelled, completely or at all.
What brought on this existential mood?
A movie. Her.
I watched people talk to their operational systems on the streets, everywhere. They were happy but they were not there.
Someone said people always did this — detaching themselves from the physical world, from their surroundings.
It might have been a philosopher, or a friend.
One could argue that the virtual, the artificial, is better. (Everybody knows that fantasy hurts less than its brother reality.)
So technology is advancing. Are we?
It’s amazing that we can be more productive and talk to voices in our heads, voices of people that aren’t there.
It’s amazing. But is it healthy?
I never thought I’d say this because given the choice between reality and fantasy, I always picked the latter.
Here’s the thing. My hand hurts when I write on paper.
The sound of my phone buzzing eclipses any other sound around me, even the voice of my boyfriend. (I force myself to turn it off on dates.)
All of my friends are far in distance but I have an excellent Internet connection. However, I may never hug them, and that scares me.
In our quest to be connected, we end up disconnected.
That movie I mentioned — Her — might be a preview of what’s to come, which is both incredible and sad.
I am human. I want human touch.
I miss being here completely — in the quiet with no buzzing and no plans.
I miss being in the now — where I’m supposed to be. Isn’t it a thousand times better than the ether of a virtual “reality”?
It’s so exciting to move at lightning speed and witness the birth of things like NeurOn and XTouch, of things that never were before.
It’s too much.
The OS Samantha knew that. She felt overwhelmed by talking to thousands of people at once and loving exactly 682 people.
Can you imagine?
I can’t stop the future from coming but I can speak my mind. Maybe there’s someone out there who’s a little bit worried… just like I am.