Netflix has an interesting idea of ​​how digital assistants should work


Lana is never too hot to handle

image: Netflix

In the first episode of the second season of Netflix Too hot, Ten horny singles gathered on the beach until rising from the depths, shrouded in mist, something that looked like a fancy RGB aroma diffuser appeared. Cue waving and painful crying. This is no ordinary gadget. This is Lana, Netflix’s fake——As-The Hell Voice Assistant, whose sole purpose is to act as an emotional Sherpa and prevent the craziest horn dog that can be found by casting a phone.

The producers of the show will make you believe that Lana is something dedicated to Too hot. She has a distinct robotic voice, a bit reminiscent of Amazon Echo.She also said the technicality of vagueness About “analyzing” the contestants and calculating the “probability” of which hot girls might form a meaningful connection. The program tells the contestants not to violate the rules often. Lana can and does see everything.

See, of course, This is a typical reality show technique. At this point, we all interacted with some kind of digital assistant, knowing that at present, even the best people cannot talk to humans in a natural way—not to mention providing advice, dating and socializing with passionate people Experimented with bimbos. of course, We all know that Lana is a stand-in in our minds Too hotProducer. The only reason you can stop doubting is because this “technology” is based on facts, right?Our Amazon Echos, Google Nest Hub and smartphones are always listening, and Human on the other end Pay to listen to our conversation clips to improve the mysterious algorithm.

Yes, but neither is it. Netflix will convince you that Lana is a possible example. Even if you know more, some of you will believe that in the future you will be intimate with fashionable digital assistants.This is a classic case Science fiction tells us our expectations for how technology will work in the future——If past examples show any signs, things usually do not.

One of the most famous examples is the AR touch screen Minority reportAs a society, it stimulates people’s imagination, and technology companies actually try to use transparent displays and wearable gloves to control what you see in AR and VR.An annoying problem is that ambient light makes transparent displays useless, and consumers absolutely hate images like Unlucky Power Gloves. James Bond has a video smart watch Octopus That is a Real gadgets at the time. (This is a Seiko TV watch. As you might expect, it crashed and burned.) Today, you can Video chat from your wrist You can technically Watch YouTube on smartwatch. It’s just that few people really want to do these things in real life.

As far as digital assistants go, Lana can probably be traced back to a long history of movies like Her and fictional counterparts like Jarvis from Iron Man. And to be fair, companies have done their damnedest to make this sci-fi notion of being emotionally attached to disembodied robot voices a thing. In 2018, Google revealed its “Continue to Conversation” function, Which should make Google Assistant a more natural conversation partner.A year later, Amazon programmed Alexa to Respond with more emotions. This year, Apple provides us with more choices Siri sounds like So it can be more “tolerant”. Google will role-play its artificial intelligence robot as Pluto and a paper airplane to show their ability to talk.

But while tech companies may program their assistants to make them more polite, let’s be realistic: they are virtual butlers, When they stop serving you, no amount of personality can stop you from kicking them to the side of the road. Cute social robots like Kuri and Jibo? They settled in 2018. Part of the reason the original HomePod failed was Siri Terrible its work. Lana works within the scope of a TV show, where hot people somehow never use mobile phones, but in real life? No one will tolerate a cunning robot judging your dating choices. You just need to unplug her.

You can see this in another Netflix reality show, CircleThe mindless people think that the Circle social network is just an unpaid intern, madly transcribing what the contestants said. But the illusion it portrays is a digital assistant, never typo, understands people with various accents, and performs all your requirements perfectly. Otherwise, this program will not work, but it also conveys the idea that this seamless perfection is something we will get from real-life voice assistants one day.

The reality is that humans are unpredictable guys, and tech companies almost lost their shit when trying to program their digital assistants Response to gender discrimination And loaded something like “Are you a feminist?” with”Are all lives important?“Normally, I yell at Alexa/Google Assistant/Siri and tell him to shut up, because no, except “How’s the weather?” “Outside, I don’t want to interact with them.” and “Turn on the lights in my kitchen. “

Of course, this is just a TV, not even a premium TV. Lana and tCircle is just to hide the puppet line of the producer. But as mentioned earlier, we fictitiously describe technology and what it will become, there is a strange chicken-egg relationship. For digital assistants, this is a way for technology companies to try to convince you that the digital assistant is a “family” in order to attract you to their ecosystem and further increase their profit margins. The media unknowingly strengthened the view that robots can have personalities, and we want a future with these fashionable robot friends. I don’t think anyone really wants this version of the digital assistant we are selling. All we want is a courteous servant who will get out when we don’t need them.

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