Tuesday, February 15, 2005

the android I broke

I didn't think I would get used to them so easily, but the android company does their best to cover things up. I only knew that they were not human because I'm a stranger to this town. I don't think anyone else notices or cares. Everyday at the supermarket, they greet me at the counter, wondering how my day was, but I knew something was missing, because the question always seemed a bit ..automatic... and they somehow failed to recognize me even though I've been a regular shopper for almost 4 months. I didn't suspect anything for a long time, I thought- maybe that's the way things around here. But it didn't add up. No, I didn't see any big off button or lights blinking, these models are way too advanced for that, but something wasn't right.

I went to the coffee shop near the park and asked for a flat white. The one at the counter, said sure etc and asked me to wait. It didn't look like an android, but ever since I first realized that the supermarket ones weren't human, my suspicions have begun to spread. And besides, I've been to this coffee shop so many times, I should have been getting recognized by now. Especially with my fake akubra hat and all. Anyway, after half an hour, there was no sign of the coffee and I was going to miss the bus and I'd be stuck in this suburb forever, so I went up to the counter and asked the android what happened. She...it said.. oh sorry, and quickly prepared one for me. When I got up to pay she refused to accept it saying that I deserved a free coffee because of their bad service. Pretty detailed programming, if you ask me. But I insisted on paying (I don't know why...don't ask me) And the next day, miracle of miracles, the counter girl recognized me, even knew what I was about to order. A corner had been turned. A real Human Interaction.

But obviously the feedback loop thus created had unforeseen consequences. When I went back the next day, the counter girl was missing. Back to the drawing board, I guess.