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The Perpetually Ephemeral Technocompanion (PET)

A helpful and stimulating personality downloadable into everyday objects all around you
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Imagine a sort of futuristic "familiar." A hundred years from now, everybody can afford a computer and needs one for most aspects of their lives. Wireless/battery and internet technology has evolved to the point where we can bring one with us wherever we go.

But due to increasing ethics committee red tape and some unfortunately catastrophic, gruesome research failures (RIP ET...), cybernetic brain implant experiments and products have been discontinued and outlawed. So how do we implement our need for a constantly available PC that is both discreet and that we feel comfortable and natural interacting with?

Well, they are all around you, all the time, are public domain, and are adaptable to different masters in different situations.

I wake up in the morning, and my alarm clock greets me, mocks me for sleeping in far too late, radios down to the toaster to get some breakfast going, and asks if I want my morning emails.

I then drag myself into the dorm's bathroom, and the toilet paper dispenser or one of the tiles in the shower powers up and continues reading me the email I opened in the other room, then urges me to stop moping already and get over my recent breakup that was the cause of my intense hangover at the moment.

In the meantime, my roommate can ask that same alarm clock from before what his reading assignment is for class that's due in a few hours, and it will answer him in a much less sarcastic tone, in accordance with his his unique relationship with his PET.

Almost every commercially available object has the capacity to perform these and any other computer/personality tasks, appropriate to the person interacting with it. And your computer companion's "personality" could evolve along with you. It would be downloaded/recognized by whichever item you were communicating with at the time, giving the sense of an ethereal, abstract person of sorts that follows you around all the time, with all of the resources and abilities you would ever need. And it acts as a friend for you to boot, very tuned into your thoughts and of a comparable intellectual level to you.

Of course there is also a good amount of culture surrounding such a system. It is certainly considered poor etiquette, for instance, to slam your fist on the counter while emphasizing a point if that counter happened to be serving as sombody's PET at the time.

(This would be a mandatory program, since it has to be installed into nearly everything that is manufactured. You pay for it as part of your income tax.)

Smurfsahoy, Mar 19 2007

Sirius Cybernetiks Corporation http://www.bbc.co.u...uscybernetics.shtml
[DrBob, Mar 19 2007]


       Is it named "Clippy" or "Bob"?
IJK, Mar 19 2007

       I feel like it'd be cooler to have a PET of the opposite gender in most cases. And something appropriately weird sounding, since they don't have a body and all. Like "Sierra." But obviously you'd pick the name, or perhaps it would pick its own name. (ooh, creepy)
Smurfsahoy, Mar 19 2007

       Go stick your head in a pig.
DrBob, Mar 19 2007

       Oh, I must say I never really read that book. It sounds like the robots there are generic to the person who interacts with them though, and their personalities are relevant to the task of that object, which are both rather different than this.
Smurfsahoy, Mar 19 2007

       // And it acts as a friend for you to boot//   

       In the context of computers, this is the first triple-entendre I've come across. Do you mean a friend for you to boot, a friend for you to boot, or a friend for you, to boot?
MaxwellBuchanan, Mar 19 2007

       Nonsense. When you're willing to take things out of context, (kicking the electronic friend has absolutely nothing to do with this theme, unlike rebooting it, making it really only a double, on topic) triple entendres can be found in pretty much every other sentence you speak, many of which must have computer terms.   

       I used to be in a swim club that was called the Coho swim club. Their logo for a couple of years was "Cohos swim better than fish!" If I'm willing to take any old interpretation, relevant or not, I can make that a septuple entendre:   

       1) Do Cohos swim faster than they cast fishing lures?   

       2) Same as (1), but with actual Coho salmon, not people in the swim club.   

       3) Do Cohos swim faster than fish swim?   

       4) Do Cohos move their appendages about more quickly when swimming than fish, but not actually move any more quickly overall?   

       5) Since Coho is a kind of salmon, is this a metaphorical commentary?   

       6) Are Cohos more securely attached to things / more linearly oriented in their lanes when they swim than are fish?   

       7) Are Cohos more often uninterrupted in their swimming than are fish? (as in "fast asleep")
Smurfsahoy, Mar 19 2007

       I respectfully refer the respondent to my earlier annotation.   

       I also suggest he make up his mind as to whether it's "faster" or "better".
MaxwellBuchanan, Mar 19 2007

       Why were the fishbones given? (Meaning: I don't understand Max's reply, fondly remembering him, could someone explain?)   

       Interestingly, Embedded AI in Everything is not yet implemented. And a personal version of that seems further away than ever, with all the security worries.
pashute, Jul 26 2023

       to boot (verb) (1): to kick a thing with one's foot
to boot (verb) (2): to cold-start[1] a computer
to boot (not a verb[2]) (3): as well as, in addition to, as a bonus

       [1] not sure this is the technically correct terminology
[2] not sure what is the technically correct terminology
pocmloc, Jul 26 2023


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