Somewhere Philip K. Dick is Smiling…
Finishing up a few things before leaving the office on a Friday, I gathered some notes and papers together and stuck them in my briefcase. I hurried toward the elevator, the office was mostly deserted– I was running a little late. I pressed the down button to call the elevator, after a short wait the elevator arrived and I stepped in. My mind was racing, filled with the events of the day, planning the weekend, thinking about next week’s business trip to Austin. Slowly I became aware of a voice speaking out of nowhere. I was in the elevator by myself.
I recognized the voice, both the words and the sound. It was a junk phone call I’d received on my Google Grand Central account. Suddenly I realized that the elevator’s emergency phone system was getting a junk phone call from a robot. The robot was telling the elevator that it “should act now to renew the extended warranty on its car.” We now live in a world where machines are spamming each other. As the machines of the network gain more and more capabilities, I can only imagine that this kind of machine-to-machine behavior will escalate.
As I stepped out of the elevator, I turned and suggested that it get on the national “no call” list for machines, and that extended warranties aren’t worth the money.