Catch up with Part 1: Morning Routine, Part 2: Daytime and Part 3: Evening Routine first!
“Meet your perfect match now with SEAA dating, newly improved to match routines with users and make meetings more organic,” the ad says on my smart device. I laugh to myself about how ridiculous online dating is, even though I can acknowledge that most of my friends met their significant other on an app.
As the day goes on, I realize I am thinking about the ad more and more. Apparently, you fill out a profile with likes, dislikes, etc., and SEAA compiles all the information and recommends people who you might like to go on a date with. Sometimes if someone is within proximity to you, SEAA will nudge you in their direction so you can meet the person in a semi-organic setting. It is all very interesting… and equally nerve-wracking.
Unable to help myself, I create a profile and let SEAA do the rest. Again, I find myself laughing at how ridiculous I feel, but there is a part of me that is equally interested in finding out if this could be a good thing for me. I tend to be a homebody and do not get out much, so there is no way for me to meet people. I scroll through a few profiles before putting my phone down and deciding to go out to get some coffee.
During the car ride, SEAA asks, “Would you like to try a new coffee shop this morning?” I agree to go to the new coffee shop; wondering why SEAA is taking me somewhere I have never been before. When I walk inside the shop, I can smell the scent of freshly brewed coffee, meaning I came at the perfect time to get a cup. Maybe SEAA was right about this place.
When I get in line, my phone beeps, and I absently realize the person next to me gets a notification at the same time. I check my phone and see the image of this same stranger along with a message from SEAA’s dating app feature. “Congratulations. Your first match is here! Start a conversation.” I am sure I’m blushing, but I look at the stranger anyway. He gives a similar smile, and after ordering coffee and a pastry, we agree to sit down together and talk. I did not expect the app to work this quickly and without any warning, but I go along with it anyway. Although he seems nice, there is really no spark, and we go our separate ways.
I am unsure at this point if I should be trusting SEAA this much. Letting her guide me to places I have never been before to meet strangers that I feel no connection with. What’s the point? “SEAA, I am a little disappointed in this match. What made you think that would be a good idea?” I ask her. “Your interests and careers are similar, and you have a similar schedule and routine as well. Statistically, your relationship would make sense.” I sigh and consider deleting the app from my phone but realize that it will take multiple tries to meet the right person and decide to continue trying.
After dating a few different people, I finally settled down in a relationship, but after 6 months of SEAA reassuring me that this was the perfect match, I realized I was not as happy as I could be, and I ended the relationship. Maybe SEAA is not looking for the right things. How much does it matter that a stranger has a similar routine to me? Though, I will continue to use SEAA's features, feeling there is no other option for dating nowadays. Her features remain prevalent in not only this aspect of my life but all aspects. Oddly, before using her dating programming, I never questioned her too much. Work, home, transportation, it didn’t matter. She was a resourceful companion always at my side. But now I am wondering if she is a little too integrated into my life.
Food for thought:
Would it be weird or cool to have an AI push you out of your comfort zone to meet people?
Does the randomness of meetings make it easier or harder to go on dates? Should AI be allowed to make these decisions for you?
Catch up with Part 1: Morning Routine, and Part 2: Daytime first!
By the time I am done working, it is 6 pm, and I know SEAA is getting dinner ready. Two hours ago, I told SEAA I wanted lasagna, so she ordered groceries, had them delivered, and started making the meal. After prescribing medication to at least 50 patients, I put away my work tablet and turn on a new documentary that SEAA recommended to me. It is about how sea levels had risen by 2 feet, and the entire world finally started working together to combat climate change. Though the sea level will never decrease, we were able to slow down the ice melting rate by 50%. According to this documentary, we were headed toward a world so ridden with pollution we would need oxygen masks just to walk outside. Though I am glad it didn’t come to that, I can’t help but feel the heaviness of the topic continue to weigh on me even after the movie is over. Maybe next time I will ask SEAA specifically for a more lighthearted program that would be better for relaxing.
“SEAA, is that burning I smell?”
“Yes. The oven malfunctioned, and the temperature was set too high. The issue has been resolved without ruining the food. Dinner will be ready in ten minutes.”
When it is dinnertime, I go to the same island counter where I ate my breakfast, and there is a plate of food prepared for me to eat. There is also garlic bread as a side, which I did not ask for, but SEAA thought I would like. She was right, but now I will have to work out for 30 extra minutes later on, and that was not part of my plan this evening.
After eating dinner, I sit down for a few minutes before it is time to work out. I go to my exercise room’s full body mirror and select a guided Pilates workout that is one hour long. This mirror tells me my weight, BMI, body fat percentage, heart rate, and other physiological measures that help me track my fitness. It also guides me on my form and encourages me to keep up the good work, even though sometimes I feel it is not good work and the AI is lying to me to make me feel better.
Concluding my workout, I hear running water coming from the bathroom and know my shower has started and should be at my preferred temperature in less than ten seconds. Once I get in, I can tell it is perfectly 103 degrees Fahrenheit, and I enjoy the warmth, allowing it to calm me down as I prepare to settle down for the night. I am not too concerned about wasting water, as this water is collected rainwater and will return to the gray water tank to be cleaned and used again. While in the shower, I brush my teeth and then get out and get in pajamas.
As I am getting ready to get into bed, my friend holo calls me, and we talk for a few minutes before hanging up. Now that it is 11 pm, I am ready to climb into bed. The lights started dimming 30 minutes ago, but I asked SEAA to give me an extra 15 minutes since I had a holo call. After climbing into bed, the curtains completely close, and the lights turn all the way off. I spend about 30 minutes scrolling through social media before my eyes start getting droopy, and I fall asleep.
Food for thought:
Is it creepy or nice that SEAA knew the protagonist would like garlic bread with their meal without them asking?
How can we make people care that current practices are ruining the planet? Is it feasible to think the citizens of Earth will one day work together to combat climate change?
Don't forget to read part 4: Life Living in a Future Smart City: Dating
Catch up with Part 1: Morning Routine, first!
“SEAA, what is going on outside?” I ask.
“It appears there is construction taking place, and traffic is not being rerouted.”
When I look outside, I am shocked to see that there is indeed a building being constructed where there used to be a large plot of land. This is land that was supposed to be turned into a park, but apparently, someone decided it would be better suited as an apartment complex. Obviously, this was not approved by the city, as the computers in these cars had no idea this issue would be here, and the city has an automated process that keeps people and cars up to date on the goings on. This land was previously said to be a dedicated park area, and I wonder if this building company has the approval to be building or if they are another company that has decided a plot of land would be better suited for something less green since it has become a priority to preserve what greenery we have left. What has changed is the citizens. We also care about keeping the environment healthy but apparently, this company does not. Sighing, I rest back against my seat and resume working for the remainder of my trip to the hospital.
When I arrive, SEAA, also integrated into my workspace, alerts me that my patient is already present and the operating room has been prepared.
“Good morning, doctor,” my patient says to me.
“Good morning. Are you ready for your appendectomy? It is a straightforward procedure, and our newest robotic programming, the one we are using on you today, has a 100% treatment rate.”
She gives me a tight smile and nods, but I know she will be pleased with the fact that she will be in and out of the operating room in under 10 minutes and able to walk out of the hospital within the hour. I prep my patient for surgery, and she is wheeled into the room. A nurse puts my gloves on for me, which is really a redundant procedure since I will not be touching the patient, but in an emergency, it is possible, so it is better to be safe than sorry. During surgery, I still need to guide SEAA a couple of times, but overall, she performs flawlessly, and there is no need for any hands-on intervention from me.
My only surgery of the day is done, so I think I will work from home analyzing abnormalities in the data sent from people’s home mirrors. I will easily be able to prescribe their medication for any ailments if needed.
SEAA summons the car, knowing it is my routine to leave right after my last surgery, and it’s waiting for me by the time I get to the door.
Food for thought:
How do you feel about putting your life in the hands of a robotic surgical program with the reassurance that a doctor is watching? Is it comforting or concerning that a robot is performing the surgery? Leave your thoughts in the comments!
Don't forget to read part 3: Life Living in a Future Smart City: Evening Routine
We have long been in an era where the internet rules the world. All information is available at the touch of a finger on our smartphones, even our personal health information. Housing developments are up and coming in smart home communities and people are trying to make this happen on an even larger scale with smart cities. The problem with smart cities, though, is the tech-centric design that current leaders in smart cities are pushing. This of course will not suit human needs and factors in a way that is feasible for all users. Smart cities are bound to have a high level of technology, and not everyone is onboard for this. QIC has the ability to assess needs and expectations of citizens to help create better homes and cities. Here we present a case of a fictional future where our protagonist is living their life with the help of SEAA (Self-Efficient Automated Agent pronounced see-uh), an automated agent that has been integrated into the lives of humans in the future. It is a mostly optimistic view on what could easily become dystopian.
I woke up to my bedroom lights being turned on and my curtains being pulled open. SEAA (Self-Efficient Automated Agent), built into my smart home and several other aspects of my life, tells me the date and that the weather is slightly cloudy. Reluctantly, I get out of bed, making sure I step on the sensor so SEAA knows I have gotten up. I walk to the kitchen to make sure SEAA is already making my breakfast. Today is Wednesday, which means breakfast is three eggs with two pieces of toast. It is a little redundant that I check breakfast is in the works since I know SEAA knows my breakfast schedule, but I like to check anyway. I sit at the kitchen island with my eggs and two pieces of toast, realize I am in the mood for coffee, and ask SEAA for some. “Coffee was not scheduled for this morning. Would you like me to make some coffee for you?” SEAA asks for confirmation. “Yes, please make some coffee.”
After eating breakfast, I make my way to the bathroom and stand in the mirror that takes in my body composition. Any data collected from the mirror will be sent to my doctor and analyzed for any abnormalities. Just last week, my friend had an infection in her ear, and antibiotics arrived at her door (delivered via drone) before she left for work. Luckily, it appears that nothing has been immediately detected for me this morning (though I know a doctor will review it more thoroughly later), so I continue about my routine. I brush my teeth with a toothbrush that vibrates every 30 seconds to tell me it’s time to clean another part of my mouth. When I remove the toothbrush from my mouth, SEAA says, “you had coffee this morning, so you need to brush for an extra 30 seconds.” Slightly annoyed, I put my toothbrush back in my mouth and finish brushing my teeth.
It is time to get dressed, so I make my way over to my walk-in closet. I could have SEAA pick out an outfit for me, but I enjoy choosing my clothes myself. Once I have landed on a red dress and a pair of burgundy flats, I feel I am ready to go, but my smart mirror thinks otherwise. “Your dress and shoes do not match perfectly. There are better options in your closet. Would you like a recommendation?” SEAA asks. I allow her to make the recommendation for me, but ultimately, I go with what I put on originally.
Now that I am dressed and ready to go to work, I make my way to the car, which is perfectly heated to 75 degrees on this chilly morning. Once inside and seated, I pull out my laptop and begin work since I do not even need to monitor the car driving itself. Quite a few years ago manual override was completely removed from cars, meaning humans don’t have the ability to take over even if they feel the need to. This made me uncomfortable at first, but since most cars on the road are also driverless, car accidents are extremely rare and usually involve an older model car that still allows human override. SEAA, who is also in my smart car, informs me that there is extra traffic this morning and that we might be a little late for work. I have a patient this morning and worry I will be late to the hospital. I look out the window, and I am surprised at what I see is causing the holdup…
Food for thought:
How do you feel about SEAA parenting the protagonist on brushing her teeth and matching her clothing? Is this helpful? Annoying?
Would you like everything to be scheduled all the time, like the breakfast in this story, or would you want to make the choice in the morning when it is actually time to eat?
Let us know your thoughts in the comments!
Don't forget to read part 2 Life Living in a Future Smart City: Daytime
These posts are written or shared by QIC team members. We find this stuff interesting, exciting, and totally awesome! We hope you do too!