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August 14, 2013 / Fantelius

Cybernetic Intercourse**

(from the book From DNA to ABC by Joel Miller)

Because of the power of digital language, the elegance of programming and the friendliness of the interfaces, we can reach a very high level of interactivity with our machines. So high in fact that we can engage in cybernetic intercourse such as when we interact with an ATM.

You: Let me slip my hard little card into your slot.
ATM: That’s a good one. Do you know which of my buttons to press?
You: This one, this one, this one and this one. Let’s get down to business.
ATM: OK! I’m ready. How much do you want?
You: 400.
ATM: One moment, please. Rhaarr. Pull your card out.
You: Thank you.*
ATM: Zipzipzipzip. Here’s your cash.
You: Thank you.*
ATM: Don’t forget your receipt. I’ve noted your latest transactions and the balance of your account on it.
You: Thank you.*
ATM. Next customer, please.

*Your “Thank you”s are actions telling the machine that you’re doing your part in the cybernetic intercourse. The ATM is more efficient than a biological teller and it doesn’t look down at you when it sees how little you have in your account. Intelligent? Would it help if it wore earrings?
**(Cybernetics deals with communication between machines and individuals. Intercourse formally means: social interaction between individuals.)


“Wouldn’t it be nice if there were AEMs; Automatic Empathy Machines.”
Dartwill Aquila

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