Tuesday, April 30, 2013

One Sign the Machines Have Already Won

Despite its faults, the film "Oblivion" was very topical in its exploration of drones and the dangers of relying on artificial intelligence. Over the course of the movie, Tom Cruise learns that machines can't be trusted and the survival of the specifies depends on him reconnecting with his own humanity.

So I was a little surprised by what happened after the movie. One of my fellow theater patrons visited the bathroom and washed his hands. After he was done, he tried to engage a paper-towel dispenser by waving his hands under it.

Unfortunately, it was not an automatic towel dispenser. It was a (fully stocked) manual dispenser. As in, the kind of thing that was very common until about 10 years ago.

After trying to get it to respond for a while, he said, "Ah, screw it," and then walked out.

I guess this is how it begins.