Samsung phones and Samsung apps have catered to the necessities and have changed the way people associate with mobile phones or smartphones. They are not just phones they are your mechanised personal assistant making a change in every walk of our lives. But are the better machines a step closer to controlling your lives. And unfortunately Samsung’s latest app, ‘Samsung Samajhdar’ reminds us that the fiction is very from a grim reality.
Samsung Samajhdar app would make sure that if the word ‘aur batao’ is used more than three times during a conversation, the phone line would be disconnected. ‘Aur batao’ which roughly translates to ‘what else’ would be an indirect implication that there is not much more to be spoken between the callers and they are just waiting for the other one to bid bye and hang up. It is just because the speakers find it to awkward to take the initiative to disconnect. Or so the mobile companies infer. Thus the app save us the embarrassment and disconnects the phone line after thrice the phrase ‘aur batao’ is used.
Is it up to a machine to decide if one has spoken enough or not? How long two people might speak is not a logical decision but an emotional one. It is indeed surprising that the mobile companies have developed this app and made it typically Indian in its name and characteristics. A machine is supposed to be a servant and the user is the master. Is it not up to the master to decide when to disconnect the call? Or has the human sensibility resigned and stooped too low that it would rather a machine take the decisions of his/her life?
Back in 2004, a neo noir dystopic science fiction film directed by Alex Proyas, I,Robot starring Will Smith and Bridget Moynahan brought an idea about a future when robots become a household reality. The movie shows that the robots finally decide to take control of humans completely citing that human history prove that humans are a destruction prone race.
The idea of machines controlling human destiny is a theme of many dystopic novels written to the date. It is to be scrutinised if the machines that we make are at the verge of controlling our lives, our emotions and more worrying fact, are we willingly submitting ourselves unbeknownst to the machines.
I wonder what the ‘samajhdar’ Samsung would do next? A ‘gaali’ app in which the machine saves you from embarrassment by shouting ‘galis’ on your enemy. You won’t be doing anything wrong, the machine would do it for you. And ofcourse there would be a ‘Maa’ app for all the busy sons and daughters who don’t have time to talk to their mothers and answer their questions with typical answers. So all the enquiries like “Beta khana khaya?” “Meri tabiyat kharab hai.” would not disturb you because the app would answer them automatically. For the playboys and girls with more than one partner, there would be a ‘Jaanu’ app. It would keep a record of his/her birthdays, anniversaries and sent her stock messages pouring in lots of love and that the user will never be ‘disturbed’ by the people who love them. Endless possibilities.
Views presented in the article are those of the author and not of ED.