The Future

Do you fear the rise of the machines?

For decades writers have been predicting the subjugation of humans to robots, or to a super AI. The created slave becomes the master. We lose our freedom, our enjoyment of life. Would I be stretching the bounds of credibility if I suggested that the robot revolution is already proceeding as predicted? I had to ring up a bank today.

Evil upon evil upon evil. First, take a run-of-the-mill pop-love-twee-gush-song from the '80s. Next, create an emotionless cover of that song with extra dollops of soporific. Then shred it through a band-mangled tweeterless wooferless telephone audio system, and then butcher it into four and a half bar chunks between adverts for bank services, canned messages to acknowledge that you're still on a queue, regular reassurances that your call is important, and messages to suggest that you dial 1 to try a customer self-serve abomination to avoid the further embarrassment of this phone queue. Admit it, loser: if you hang around waiting for a real human to talk to, you're a frightened luddite, unfit to enjoy the sparkling future of automated banking services.

Why did I have to subject myself to such debasement at the "hands" of a machine? I could have hung up at any time. I could have wandered away from the phone and left it off the hook in a symbolic gesture of defiance. But, I needed information. They had something I wanted. The machines have inserted themselves between providers and consumers. They've found that perfect leverage point. Drive your wedge between vendor and customer and you can control the world. The rise has begun.

Don't say I didn't warn you.