Predictions that came to pass (almost) - Doc's Toaster (by Bruinhilda) and smart assistants

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AKK
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Predictions that came to pass (almost) - Doc's Toaster (by Bruinhilda) and smart assistants

Post by AKK » Sat Nov 24, 2018 4:47 am

Doc's Toaster (by Bruinhilda) and voice controlled smart assistants:

Doc's infamous(ly cheerful) talking toaster was invented by Bruinhilda and - with permission - made an appearance in my story "The Geist of the Goose" (https://annkniggendorf.de/page58.html (rated R), based on her characterization and dialogue of Talkie. To spare you scrolling through it, here's the scene in question:
At that cue his toaster's personality chip came to life, introducing itself in a cheerful voice, totally ignoring the smoke still curling up from its slits. =Howdy doodly do! How's it going? I'm Talkie – Talkie Toaster, your chirpy breakfast companion. Talkie's the name, toasting's the game. Anyone like any toast?=
Doc, ninety-nine percent of his mental capabilities busy with ignoring the three death-dark looks penetrating his sternum at that, replied: "Not anymore."
=Hey, I'm a toaster, you bought me, you connected me, so you want toast! Would you like it fresh and crispy, medium, or just like the last dish: well done?=
Doc's sigh was almost loud enough to hide Gooseman's growl. Almost. "Look, I don't want any toast, and he," he actually dared to indicate Shane at that moment, "doesn't want any toast. In fact, no one here wants any toast. Not now, not ever. No toast."
=How 'bout a muffin?=
"Or muffins! We don't like muffins around here! We want no muffins, no toast, no teacakes, no buns, baguettes or bagels, no croissants, no crumpets, no pancakes, no potato cakes and no hot-cross buns and definitely no flapjacks!"
=Aah, so you're a waffle man!=
Doc would have to shout at the top of his lungs to drown out Shane's growl now. Instead, he ignored Goose and the toaster, and studied the two coal leaves he'd rescued from said toaster instead. "Anyone want some toast? It's a little well-done."
"Uhm, Doc..." Niko said in a low voice, "maybe you should rethink that offer a little–"
=Can I ask just one question?= The toaster bleeped in between.
"Of course," Doc answered before realizing who asked.
Zachary in the background groaned.
=Would anyone like any toast?=
"Didn't you hear what I just said?!"
=Yes, but I thought you might have changed your mind in the meantime.=
This reminds me a lot of using the Google Assistant (in German) for putting appointments in my calendar:

=What's the appointment called?=
"My appointment."
=When is it?=
"Tomorrow."
=When is the appointment?=
"Tomorrow (with date in numbers)."
=At what time is it?=
"13:45."
=On what day is it?=
"Tomorrow (with date in numbers & a growled, "as I told you already!")"

Result: an appointment called "day and time of..." in my calendar with the description "day and time" and no hint of the content. However, the cheerful discussion took just short of six minutes, about six-fold the time entering the appointment by keyboard.

Talkie Toaster, written sometime around the Y2K, was really ahead of its time. The Google Assistant discussion only needed an =...I thought you might have changed your mind in the meantime.= at the end!
"I've got a conscience, sir, but my survival instinct always defeated it."
https://annkniggendorf.de

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