“Just how bad a mother am I? I wondered, as I watched my 13-year-old son deep in conversation with Siri. Gus has autism, and Siri, Apple’s ‘intelligent personal assistant’ on the iPhone, is currently his BFF,” Judith Newman reports for The New York Times. “Obsessed with weather formations, Gus had spent the hour parsing the difference between isolated and scattered thunderstorms — an hour in which, thank God, I didn’t have to discuss them.”
“This is a love letter to a machine. It’s not quite the love Joaquin Phoenix felt in ‘Her,’ last year’s Spike Jonze film about a lonely man’s romantic relationship with his intelligent operating system (played by the voice of Scarlett Johansson),” Newman reports. “But it’s close. In a world where the commonly held wisdom is that technology isolates us, it’s worth considering another side of the story.”
“It’s not that Gus doesn’t understand Siri’s not human. He does — intellectually. But like many autistic people I know, Gus feels that inanimate objects, while maybe not possessing souls, are worthy of our consideration,” Newman reports. “I realized this when he was 8, and I got him an iPod for his birthday. He listened to it only at home, with one exception. It always came with us on our visits to the Apple Store. Finally, I asked why. ‘So it can visit its friends,’ he said.”
Much more in the full article – very highly recommended – here.
[Thanks to MacDailyNews Readers “Lynn Weiler” and “Scott M.” for the heads up.]