Skynet – My Bad!

11 Jun

SKYNET – My fault, sorry about that!

 

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I have an Android Phone – wait, there’s more to the story than this, please don’t change the channel yet.

For a while now I’ve had an Android phone and fairly much all I’ve done with it is text, call, check my Facebook and take pictures that I probably shouldn’t have mentioned in polite company, or either with you guys. I’m a simple sort of person, I don’t ask for much out of life so this was more than enough for me. Until recently.

I was bored one day and while sitting on the sofa I looked at the phone and came up with the most chilling phrase that has ever entered the mind of a self-respecting sentient being (of which class I almost belong) “I wonder . . . .” And in this case the “I wonder” was followed almost immediately by the thought of “what else this phone can do?” I’ll admit, part of this desire to know more was because I had been watching “Castle” and his phone seemed to be the cleverest thing I had ever seen.

I’m not the sort of person who will sit down and read an instruction manual, unless there is no other option available. I don’t ponder the rights and wrongs of something, I seldom look too far ahead regarding the possible consequences of my actions and I’ve always considered myself a pretty lucky person so, what was the worst that could happen? And yes, that is another one of those horrendous phrases that should instantly put you on Defcon 2 – Red Alert.

With a cheerful overabundance of confidence I picked up the phone and started speaking to it. I known that I could do this for a while but it was something that I hadn’t considered actually doing. After all, I don’t feel comfortable having a conversation on my mobile with someone while out and about – who wants people around you to hear half of what is going on? So actually having a conversation with the phone rather than on it has got to be even worse.

“Okay Google”, I said. “Tell me what you can do!”

Yeah, you can see where this is going, can’t you. It’s true, I was about to be outwitted by my phone. The brand name “Android” should have given me a bit of a clue about this but I have never claimed to be the most intuitive person on the planet.

Anyway, the phone started talking back to me and then gave me a list of all the possible commands (Hah! Commands? More like possible suggestions that it may or may not follow depending on how it felt at the time!), commands that I could give it. Some of these looked pretty good, I could use my phone to keep me up to date with all sorts of things that were going on in the world, make me feel knowledgeable about the topics of the day. Some of them were things that while not world shaking tasks would be handy for me, keeping and giving little reminders to myself about things I was meant to be doing. Okay, usually the reminder would come up just after I was meant to do that chore, but it was the thought that counted.

Then the phone asked me, very politely, if I wanted notification of events happening around me. “Why not?” I thought to myself and pressed the button that set all this in motion. It should have been a Big Red Button. It should have had a sign beside it telling me to break glass in case of emergency. It should have told me to go get an adult before doing something as reckless as this. But it didn’t, it didn’t say any of these things, it just smirked and went silent.

At this point I was quite please with myself. I had climbed out of what was the modern stone age and moved forward into the new and exciting civilisation that was awaiting me. Little did I know what horrors were now lying in wait for me. Horrors that were biding their time, horrors that were lulling me into that famous false sense of security. Horrors that knew they had me just where they wanted me.

Next day I went to see a film and just after I left the cinema I got a message alert on the phone. Just assuming it was a text or Whatsapp or something equally innocuous I opened it up, while still on the escalator going down from the fifth floor and read it.

“It will take you 59 minutes to walk home,” the message told me. The message that my phone had sent me. The message that did not come from any outside source. The message that the phone itself thought that I might want to hear.

My first thought was that I didn’t bloody well want to walk home. It was raining. Why on Earth would I want to do a thing like that? Then the realisation struck me that I didn’t tell my phone where I lived or where I might be at this time. I might want to go to the pub, or go shopping, or go to the pub. Yes, I mentioned pub twice but it’s twice as likely that I would do that rather than go shopping. Why would the phone make assumptions about what I wanted to do or where I was going next.

And next, how did it know where I lived? I didn’t tell it this, did it just guess or had it been watching me and taking notes while I wasn’t paying attention? Then I had to ask myself how it knew which route I wanted to take, even if I was going to walk home, which I most definitely wasn’t. But a worse thought was to come. How did it know how quickly I walked? Had it been measuring my strides or was it controlling the pace I moved at? Both were scary options and I didn’t really want to considered either too closely.

Putting this strange occurrence out of my mind, or at least as much as I could, I went home. Not by walking I hasten to add. I was just a couple of hundred yards from my flat when I got another message from the phone.

“There is a KFC nearby, you have been there before. Would you like to go again?”

With a small, girly scream of panic I switched off the phone, hurried home, threw the demonic creation into a drawer and barricaded myself into the bathroom. This may be the hysteria talking but I’m certain that even from that distance away I could hear Google chuckling to itself and muttering about everything down here floating.

Since this time I haven’t been able to turn on the phone without there being someone else in the room and I’ve been checking the phone book to see if there are any Sarah Connors living in the area.

I cannot say how bad I feel about this. When Skynet takes over everything and flesh clad machine start hunting us down for both sport and pleasure, feel free to blame me. You won’t be able to make me feel any worse than I do already. Just remember that the last thing the Terminator will hear me scream out is as it tells me that I’m going to die even if I do go with it is . .

 

“I didn’t know, how could I possibly know?”

 

My bad world, my bad.

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