By Todd Lancaster
Hey, Google… can you count out loud to 5000? Me … Why?
Hey, Google … is it still raining out? Me … Look out the window.
Hey, Google … can you play “The Night Chicago Died” by Paper Lace? Me … I didn’t want to hear it in 1973, so why do I want to hear it now?
These are some of the questions my children have floated across my basement over to my Google Home device since Christmas.
If you don’t know what a Google/Alexa/Echo Dot is, it is like having a fully integrated cyber butler, someone there to help you avoid the mundane tasks of turning on lights or finding a recipe for Jell-O shots.
Why? Because Google has determined it is just too much of an effort to even “Google” on my phone anymore and I need to be able to just shout random questions into the air. I sometimes feel like Emperor Nero, lying in a prone position with someone feeding me grapes, while I come up with questions about man’s place in the universe.
Now, mind you, Google does have some practical purposes that make it more than just an entity that pushes us farther down the lazy slope.
I could see if I were stranded on an island where Google Home might come in a lot more handy than, say … a Wilson volleyball. I could ask it to help me choose between Ginger and Mary Ann, recipes for coconut cream pie or if there were any giant spiders or radioactive K-rations in a cave down by the lagoon. All of which would be nice, but truthfully it might just be easier to have it send an email to the Coast Guard first (but not until I got to spend some quality time with Ginger and Mary Ann).
Actually I shouldn’t be so hard on my Google Home, as it looks like it will actually pay for itself. During a recent bathroom renovation, one of the subcontractors must have been concerned that he might also end up on a deserted island, and decided it might be best to have MY Google device with him when/if that happened. After questioning people about the disappearance of my Google Home(and a new bathroom faucet), I determined that my Google was gone forever.
However, my Google must have missed counting to 5,000 or listening to bad music from the ‘70s, because lo and behold, it sent me an email telling me where it was and asked if “firstname.lastname@example.org” would be allowed to make preference changes to my device?
Hmmmm, I thought to myself, what a crazy coincidence that I would get a random email from Google about someone with the exact same name as my subcontractor (who happened to be the last person in the room with my Google device).
After laughing about this with the actual contractor (who returned my Google from his employee), I said isn’t it ironic that by his worker stealing a $29 device, I was now going to ask for 20 percent off the entire multi-thousand dollar job. So how much is that? Let’s ask Google and find out (in another ironic twist, we also asked it for the subcontractor’s criminal history).
They say with the direction Artificial Intelligence is going, and with the fact that your Google, Alexa or Echo Dot is always listening and communicating with the dark web, I suspect humans will probably be eradicated from earth by late November 2019. If that is the case, I’ll probably want to use all my vacation days by July.
“Hey, Google … can you book me a condo in Seagrove from June 15 to June 30?”