Welcome to the age of robots. You may not have noticed, but they’re here. Everywhere. I am not referring to the ones that build automobiles in factories or the ones that Roomba® in your home. I am referring to the ones that technology has so gracefully and gradually slipped into our lives that we haven’t even noticed. Like a 1950’s sci-fi movie, had they come from another galaxy they would have already conquered the earth. But who would have thought they would have no arms or legs and fit inside a pocket?
I have a stupid phone. Although it probably does things that I don’t use it for, it fits in my pocket and makes telephone calls very easily. If my phone were smarter I would probably teach it to reply to “am I loved?” and “am I needed?" Judging from the compulsive behavior exhibited by people at malls and airports, that seems to be the primary function of these devices. Don’t start lobbing rotten tomatoes at me. I too can be compulsive when I have uploaded an especially good photo to Flickrpoosted to social mediaeed to. But when I leave the house the Internet and email stay behind and I treasure the separation from connectivity. That is especially true if I am on a pleasure trip. I am really not important or needed enough to have to be available at all times. Man, am I happy about that~! There are times when I feel like grabbing the phone out of the hand of some boorish idiot in front of me in the checkout line and smashing it to the floor. Sorry, this wasn’t meant to be a device bashing post. Let’s get back to the robots.
When I saw the commercial for the iPhone 4s it struck me that this was more than a phone or even a pocket-sized computer. With the advanced capabilities of voice recognition it has become a personal assistant. How cool is that? And she fits in a pocket and goes with you everywhere. If I were twenty or thirty years younger I would be so into mobile technology. Just the ability to carry my whole commercial photography portfolio as a multimedia presentation on a tablet the size of a magazine would close the deal for me. And it surfs the web and does email too…and more!
There is certainly the seed for a science fiction movie here. Some Blofield-like maniac bent on ruling civilization could devise a way to take over smart phones the world over and control people’s minds…or their bank accounts! I have reached a point in life where I accept almost anything as being possible but don’t believe it unless I see it. So I advise you, it is not too early to start thinking about robot insurance.