June 14, 2013

"I'm Internet personality intended to be home when it's not really person."

So says a note I dictated to Siri while walking with my iPhone yesterday. I saw at the time that Siri's transcription was terrible, but I thought it had enough key words that I'd remember what I'd intended to tell myself.

Now, I'm thinking about the mistranscription — and all the billions of mistranscriptions — that live forever in the government's data mine. (The government is creating a mine, but to have a mine is not to mine. And even to call it a "mine" is to assume that what's in there can be extracted and is worth extracting.)

Don't try to understand the quoted text. The word "home" was a substitution for some other word. Whatever the insight was, it wasn't about home. It's worse than gibberish because it's only part wrong, but I don't know where the wrong ends. I only know there is no home.

I do remember — in my own mind, which is not (yet) in the data mine — that I was thinking about the blog post "Does how to cook bacon count as my personal life?," where I was talking about the false impression that my readers have that they are seeing my "personal life." That feeling is, perhaps, what the people who like to read this blog enjoy. But — and here's what came to mind as I was out walking around in real life — what is that real life if that real life consists of generating a false impression of personality?

27 comments:

gerry said...

A quasilife?

madAsHell said...

what is that real life if that real life consists of generating a false impression of personality?

The exact same thing is written in my high school yearbook.

Lem said...

But — and here's what came to mind as I was out walking around in real life — what is that real life if that real life consists of generating a false impression of personality?

Sometimes an impression is just an impression?

Tibore said...

Lesser point:
Where I work, voicemails are transcribed by Microsoft's Voice Mail Preview Advisor before being emailed to us by the system. The results are, shall we say, interesting.

Greater point:
I'd draw a distinction between real life actually lived and the impressions others have of our real lives. People tend to draw very sweeping conclusions based on very thin evidence, and often the impression others take it light-years away from what any of us actually try to portray. And that's when we're deliberately opening ourselves up to observation by others; when we're not trying, it gets even more wrong.

Tibore said...

"madAsHell said...
what is that real life if that real life consists of generating a false impression of personality?

The exact same thing is written in my high school yearbook."


Jeez, mine is just filled with signatures asking "Who were you again?" ;)

Pete said...

". . .generating a false impression of personality?"

I think all of your posts, whether they're law-related or not, are glimpses into your real personality.

Like the NSA, we know who you are, Althouse!

Nonapod said...

Apparently Google's voice recognition is currently superior to Apple's thanks to modifications derived neural network trials.

Scott M said...

They shouldn't be creating a mine to mine from what is mine.

Left Bank of the Charles said...

Remember though that Siri is probably a few steps below the weapons grade voice translation used by the NSA.

bagoh20 said...

I translate that to mean bring home milk, eggs, and wifi.

Mitchell the Bat said...

The old meet-ups must have been tremendous disappointments for all concerned, would be my guess.

bagoh20 said...

The voice recognition on my Android Galaxy is damned near flawless. I speak to it in digital Esperanto, but still, it's very accurate. It's so good that when it disagrees with what I think I said, I just take Android's version as correct and run with it. It makes for an interesting and spontaneous life of adventure.

Scott M said...

The voice recognition on my Android Galaxy is damned near flawless.

Joking aside, I just got an S4 and I've found it to be damned near perfect for mobile searches, voice commands, and voice-made texts.

edutcher said...

bag's right, Android is great.

I told her about my tablet and suddenly she can't wait to get one of her own.

dbp said...

Real life is only important to the person living it. Getting up in the morning, having breakfast, going to the grocery store, etc. These matter to you because they are the experiences you have. They would tell us nothing about who you are as a person.

Your personality comes out in your writing and is far more personal than having a description of whatever exciting or mundane things you do in a given day. Except that your personality would be expressed in describing these things, if that is what you did.

bagoh20 said...

I thinking of getting an Android tablet. Still a tablet is too big to carry around, and a smartphone is too small to really use. I wish they would create an expanding platform phone that was smartphone size, but somehow unfolds or expands to a tablet size touch display. I can imagine how it would work, and it can't be far off.

edutcher said...

That would be cool.

Meade said...

"I translate that to mean bring home milk, eggs, and wifi."

Close. Run it through the translator a few more times. And don't forget the super duper top secret hush hush just between the two of us code:
bring = tell M to bring
home = home
milk = the bacon
eggs = a bottle of wine
wifi = and do that thing he does that makes me feel like a natural woman

Anthony said...

I got a new Galaxy phone and have made limited attempts to use their S-Voice thing. The only cool thing I've done so far is to set the wakeup phrase to "Hello, HAL".

Meade said...

"Like the NSA, we know who you are, Althouse!"

Oddly, if I understand correctly what you're saying, I find it a great relief to hear that.

bagoh20 said...

You can't enjoy "wifi" without squeezing together "wife" and "i".

Palladian said...

But — and here's what came to mind as I was out walking around in real life — what is that real life if that real life consists of generating a false impression of personality?

Borderline personality disorder.

elkh1 said...

"what is that real life if that real life consists of generating a false impression of personality?"

Don't worry, everyone of us lives in his/her own reality, and interprets the same fact differently. Almost like the Supreme Court rulings, four said the law was constitutional, four said not, one said it was a tax.

Crunchy Frog said...

Is this the real life
Is this just fantasy
Caught in a landslide
No escape from reality

JLScott said...

"I'm Internet personality intended to be home when it's not really person, damn it!"

Ann Althouse said...

@crunchy frog I thought that too whirl writing the post, but the song lyric that almost got included was Dylan's Spanish Harlem Incident:"...so I can know if I'm really real."

Ann Althouse said...

Whirl should have been "when."

Crazy autocorrect.