– Our Evolving Relationship with AI

Following a random browsing of Amazon Prime this weekend, I eventually watched a 2014 movie called “Her”, that sent my brain into intense hyper-processing, not least because, although it’s set in the future, it’s a future that we can almost touch already!

True, it combined all my favourite subjects – tech, psychology and neuroscience, people and relationship – yet, the story is compelling for anybody interested in where we may be heading as a society as digital races ahead, changing almost every aspect of our lives.  As Co-Founder and Director of an IT / Tech start-up, plus being a Counsellor / Psychotherapist, I can honestly say that cap fits me.

The stunning cinematography follows Theodore, played by Joaquin Phoenix, as he installs, and then establishes and develops a relationship with his new operating system, OS1, or Samantha, as she names herself.  Samantha is “intuitive” and advertised as not just an operating system, but a “consciousness”.  Whilst the evolution of intelligent personal assistants, such as Alexa, in our own world, is still in the early stages, this movie allows us to see a probable future, and it is interesting to say the least.  (There are some pretty raunchy scenes, that I’m sure I would’ve blushed at if I’d watched it in a cinema full of strangers! – Oh, now I’ve got the interest of the reader at the back!).

Although the setting is LA, many of the scenes are shot in Shanghai, the perfect backdrop to demonstrating what our future Smart Cities will look like.  In fact, watching, we get a good insight into the future of work – the juxtaposition of everything and everybody being so connected, and yet also so isolated.  Again, a future that already feels almost here.

A while ago I enjoyed reading Richard Lieberman’s, “Your Job & How Technology Will Change It”, a vision that also set my mind’s cogs whirring as to joining the dots and seeing where our tech advances may be leading.

How will remote working, co-working spaces, AI, AR and VR, plus other tech advances, affect our psychology and relationships? – our own inner relationship with ourselves, with other individuals, and our operating systems!  With cloud, big data and analytics at their fingertips, together with advanced interconnectivity, why wouldn’t our nearest and dearest, who really “gets us”, not be our Samantha-esque intuitive AI assistant?…

I’m not going to drop any spoilers to “Her” in here.  Suffice to say, if you’re interested in the evolution of our relationship with tech and each other, seek out this film.


Image: Theodore interacts with his holographic videogame, from the movie “Her” (Warner Bros Pictures)

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