Sorry, Tim

The future is not apps, the future is functionality. The sooner you guys get done fighting over the money, the sooner Siri, Alexa, Cortana, etc., can be addressed as fully rational creatures, and we guinea pigs consumers can get on with sorting out the blessings and curses of this new symbiosis you’ve been threatening us with promising us.

2 thoughts on “Sorry, Tim

  1. Pedinska December 22, 2016 / 8:04 am

    Sometimes I wonder if I’m the last remaining luddite when it comes to telling my phone what I want it to do. I still find it creepy when, upon dropping it into pocket or purse, some unknown button gets pushed and it apologetically informs me in it’s subtle monotone that it didn’t quite get what I said. Disquieted, I then gingerly fish it back out, carefully pressing only those buttons needed to back it out of the program whilst keeping my lips carefully puckered on the “Oh, shit.” that inevitably wants to leak out. :-s

    Wishing you and yours a wonderful holiday WT. 🙂

    • William Timberman December 22, 2016 / 9:17 am

      Yeah, I know. AI has a ways to go yet — promising, but frustrating is how I’d describe the current state of affairs — but the rate of progress is stunning. If you believe what the experts are saying, we reached the tipping point quite unexpectedly, and perhaps more significantly, the advanced state of our physical and virtual infrastructure has almost eliminated the cycle time for research, engineering and manufacturing. Every new advance gets pushed out almost immediately — today you dream it, and tomorrow it’s in your hands. Amazing as it seemed at the time, what ten years ago was simply a telephone you could use (more or less) anywhere has morphed into William Gibson’s neuromancer in every pocket or purse.

      My complaint is about the unresolved, and in many ways depressingly backward battle between content providers and device manufacturers/cloud custodians over how the spoils are to be divided. Why does my iPhone have to have this bewildering matrix of applications? NBC has an app, but so do Fox, ABC, CBS, Netflix, HBO, YouTube, and the SyFy channel. Each bank has one, each insurance company, each travel service. Amazon has four, Microsoft and Google who knows how many. It’s all about controlling eyeballs, and selling us stuff — it’s not really about we want at all.

      Someday soon, I hope, we can simply say to the silly gadget things like translate what follows into (spoken) written Chinese, or show me Rogue One on my living room screen, or let the dog in and lock the back door, or direct me to the nearest Italian restaurant within walking distance, without wondering who or what is provisioning the response, or who’s getting the revenue from it. I mean, the silly thing already knows where all this functionality resides, not to mention where I bank, and how much I’ve got left in my account, right?

      What it comes down to is that while the Millennial Titans of Industry don’t mind disrupting us, they’re overcome with a distressing timidity when confronted with the disruptions they’ve inflicted on themselves. Call it not the brave, but the cowardly new world.

      With all that said, though, I’m glad we’re still in it, and wish you and yours all the best of the holiday season.

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