I’m grateful that Wednesday Journal still has a hardcopy edition available to the public — especially those of us who see the digital colonization of life as foe more than friend. The AI invasion is the latest layer of the 21st century’s seeming surrender to such “advancement.” Science fiction, from Philip K. Dick to James Cameron, saw the future back when. They, and other prescient creators of novels and cinema dealing with Man vs Machine narratives, are now all the more entitled to an “I told you so” attitude.

I’m sure many aspects of life have been made easier because of computer science — although I cannot think of a worthy example to support that assertion. Self-checkout kiosks at the supermarket? Digital customer service entities that ask how they can help the caller, then make a connection to an actual human being, is a test of one’s patience. Press “O” or ask for an “agent.” Good luck with that.

Siri. Alexi. Chat box (fall in love and marry that chatty Cathy of Chuckie!). Dick Tracy had his version of a smart watch on his wrist stating in 1946. It helped him catch Chicago gangsters (paging Brandon Johnson). Today, we have Fitbits and Apple watches that reveal heart rates and blood oxygen saturation, among other vitals. No need for expensive blood labs, huh? Ten thousand steps a day? Do it! Saves one from simply counting their steps per minute after noting what time that morning walk started and ended. Who wants to do math other than those math majors?

We are tracked by our phones or Fitbit. Data. Algorithms. Try not think about it. You’ll excuse me, I have to contact my AI intimate. I think this one is finally the real deal for me.

Joe Harrington
Oak Park

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