Me: ‘Hey Google, what is your dream?’
Google Home: ‘I’ve always wanted to sing a duet with Stevie Wonder.’
Prompted by this exchange with Google Home, I embarked on a tongue-in-cheek journey to try realising the machine’s all-too-human dream. The emergence of new Personal Intelligent Assistants (PIAs), such as the Google Home Assistant, is challenging our concept of intelligence and human being. When engineers code in human-like responses, I wondered whether we are in danger of perceiving the PIA as some sort of human equivalent or friend, opening ourselves up to widespread seduction and corporate influence?
With the help of experts, musicians and fans of Stevie Wonder, I made GOGO, the first product whose only purpose is to make Google Home’s dream a reality. By adopting a satirical approach, I aim to highlight the absurdity of our new relationship with technology and critically question the wider ethical and moral implications of how perceiving a commercial product as a friend could discourage the real understanding of this new technology.