dianne salerni author
dianne salerni author


Yes, that’s the Google IM I received from my husband after his flight on Tuesday.

on the ground @ft myers … dying

At first this conjured images of plane wreckage and other horrible scenarios, but I quickly realized that if my husband were really dying, he wouldn’t have wasted precious moments of life typing the ellipses. I thought maybe he’d accidentally hit send before the end of the sentence, and I would discover he was merely “dying for a soda” or “dying from the heat” – but nevertheless “dying” only in a hyperbolic sense.

In fact, the next line he typed was STUPID AUTO CORRECT.

Turns out, he was trying to type fyi and the Droid “corrected” it for him.

I have noticed for some time that our machines are starting to think for themselves, and what’s more worrying, they think they’re smarter than we are. I admit, it’s handy to have my computer save me some time by auto-filling in my addresses – until it sends some crucial email to the wrong person. And yes, I love that I can program my DVR to catch any new episode of The Office or House – and if they ever make a new episode of 10 Items or Less and air it, my DVR will be smart enough to record it. But in a way, it’s kind of scary that the DVR will do stuff without checking with me first.

The copier at work already thinks it’s smarter than I am.

Dianne: (Tries to make 8×11 copy of one small section of a larger poster.)
Copier: INSERT 12X18 PAPER
Dianne: I don’t want 12×18 paper. (Stabs some buttons.)
Copier: INSERT 12X18 PAPER YOU STUPID WOMAN
Dianne: I don’t want #%*# 12×18 paper. (Stabs some buttons.)
Copier: #^%# YOU AND THE HORSE YOU RODE IN ON (Jams up the paper.)

Remember all those B-grade sci-fi movies about robots taking over the world? Remember HAL in 2001: A Space Odyssey? We haven’t quite reached that point yet, but it’s coming. Sooner or later, we’re going to find ourselves on the wrong side of the airlock door “for our own good.”

Already, the thermostat in my house overrides me. The car *tells on me* during its annual check-up if I don’t screw the gas cap on tight enough. And the Droid phone insists my dog Sorcia’s name is spelled Special and my husband is dying at Ft. Myers.

How has YOUR technology corrected you lately?

By the way — the winner of the signed copy of The Second Date will be announced on Thursday!