I love the funny meme which people use to describe awkward or eye-opening situations, “That moment when…”
It’s usually reserved for things like, “That moment when your wife, who threatened you to not shove cake in her face for the duration of your engagement, shoves cake in your face 1.”
Today I had my own “That moment when… 2”
My wife purchased an Amazon Echo Dot for herself on Black Friday, because she wanted to play music in the kitchen and thought it would be a good way to do so. This surprised me for a few reasons. First, AI assistants generally hate my wife 3. Second, she’s not a gadget person in general. She wants a device that works and goes away, the “wow” factor isn’t very important to her. But for some reason Alexa piqued her interest and she ended up getting one for Christmas 4. As they were on a serious sale during the Christmas shopping season, I suspect many others also joined this cult.
This evening, however, my wife was feeding Bump dinner as I made waffles 5. She then had the following one-way conversation as Bump looked on with a look of sheer joy upon his face.
“Alexa, Play Nickel Creek.”
That was my “That moment when…”
I’ve pondered before on the types of things that Bump will never use, with which my other two children are familiar 6. But the one thing that he’ll grow up with as normal, with which even my older kids are not yet familiar, are voice assistants. Bump will grow up expecting to ask about the weather, the location of his packages, select a music playlist, listen to podcasts, or send messages simply by speaking. And he’ll expect the right information to come back 7.
Bump summed up my epiphany moment with a profound statement.
“Ba Ba Ba, MBa, pphpt!”
There was drool involved 8.
- Yes, this happened. Yes, she was planning do to this for months. I ended up looking like I had a Hitler mustache. No, you are not being shown the image. ↩
- Without the cake. ↩
- She once asked Siri to call her husband, and Siri called our neighbor. And neither I nor my neighbor told Siri to do that (which is something we would absolutely do because we are not nice people). This wasn’t a one time thing, either. My wife remains the only human being with whom I’ve heard Siri become exasperated. ↩
- For my part, I find them creepy. If I didn’t value the hands free in the car I’d even turn “Hey Siri!” off. But even I have to admit Alexa “just works.” ↩
- Thanks to our above-mentioned neighbors, who let us borrow their waffle-maker. ↩
- And I’m still trying to figure out how to make him familiar with a VCR. Suffering is good for the soul. ↩
- Sorry, Siri, you’ve got a long way to go even now. Better get cracking. ↩
- And my wife approved this post. ↩