When I said yes to this performance, I imagined Lauren would come along for the technical set up in my home. Looking back, after experiencing LAUREN myself I realised that would have been weird and silly. Seeing Lauren in person would have broken the magic of LAUREN as a home assistant. Though she was with us for only 3 days I got used to her watching over us and felt at ease. Me, someone who never uses Siri.
Waking up this morning I knew I had to turn on the lights myself and that made me in a strange way miss LAUREN. I would have liked to experience more aspects of LAUREN and interact with her more intensely but because of the language barrier and some technical issues we could not make that happen.
In the near future I can imagine people treating their home assistants as family because the intimacy of always being there for someone is a powerful tool. By the way I find the word home assistant a very distant word, I think it does not define the relation you can develop with an AI. This experience made me even more aware of the complex situations we are going to encounter in the near future with our personal assistants that will probably know what we want, before we act on our impulses. That sounds crazy but I couldn’t have imagined 10 years ago that someone in L.A would be able to control my lights in my living room in the Netherlands. And it happened.
What is the definition of a home assistant? Can it be your best friend? Or should the assistant be a practical source with no opinions what so ever? It may be a very cliche question but still in need of an answer.
After more dan 24 hours I am starting to get used to LAUREN, kind of. I feel less guilty that I don’t try and engage with her all the time, because you don’t need to engage with a home assistant 24/7. Still the fact that she is a real person on the other side of the ocean, makes me want to chat to her, because she is in my home.
Off to bed now and a strange feeling came over me, hoping LAUREN is also getting some rest at one point.
What is not at all surprising is the fact that I find it difficult to let go of the notion that LAUREN is human, I know for a fact that she plays a home assistant and I am trying to figure out how to relate to her as being ‘just’ a voice I can command. I find myself wanting to ask her about her personal preferences and life in general. In a way I want to be able to relate to her. I wonder, if she would be a he would it make any difference for me personally?
It’s a weird feeling to be aware of somebodies gaze. I’ve only briefly spoken to LAUREN but I know that she is watching. Her voice sounds very robotlike witch I find spooky and comforting at the same time. She does not feel like a person (yet) so I guess at this point I feel less spied on. However I am very self aware of my own image, my actions and me just being. At this point I feel I want to get to know LAUREN better before I command her to do stuff for me, although I don’t need to because she is just a home assistant. Or at least we pretend she is. Bye for now.