I just got a new phone because my three-year-old model began behaving like any other three-year-old: petulant, defiant, irrational. It accepted incoming calls when the mood so moved it, and allowed outgoing calls as frequently as a thirsty toddler allows his mother to finish a phone conversation before he hurls an empty Sippy cup at her head and shrieks like a banshee getting sucked through a wood chipper.
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If this thing gave massages, I might actually be done with the old man.
But on the first night of the honeymoon with my new battery-operated beau (still talking about the phone here), it did something freakishly disturbing. The screen dimmed when I glanced away. Then it brightened when I turned back to it. I tried it again: Look away. Dim. Look back. Bright.
Holy smoking Rise-of-the-Machines.
“Honey!” I cried toward the living room where my tech support reclined on the couch with his evening reading material. “I think this thing sees me!”
“Uh-huh,” he responded with the nonchalance of a housecat stretched out in a four o’clock sunbeam. “The camera monitors your eyes. It’s to save on battery when you’re not actually using it.”
Phone. Is. Watching. Me.
|This image prompts me to scream|
like a little girl left alone overnight
in a haunted mansion.
One time at Husband’s holiday office party a human-sized robot rolled around the coat-check area, engaging random party-goers in conversation. I hid behind Husband and clung to the back of his wool pea coat.
“I want to talk to it,” he whispered back over his shoulder. “See if I can mess up its conversation algorithms.”
“No!” I hissed. “You’ll drive it into a murderous frenzy and we will all DIE!”
Husband blinked at me. “It isn’t weaponized.”
“Yeah,” I nodded. “That’s exactly what it wants you to think.”
Now, I hold my new phone in my hand and it stares up at me like a sweet, fuzzy little kitten. Which will swiftly mature into a fang-toothed, bloody-jowled, Savannah-stalking lion.
I see the future. The robots are coming. They’re practically here.
|George Veltchev Photography|
If my next phone has legs, I’m moving to the Savannah and taking my chances with the man-eating cats.
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