As sent to the Guardian:
I am writing to inquire whether anyone else has experienced what I believe is a previously undiscovered threat to human life from over-engineering in new technology. My 76-year-old mother recently bought a new mobile phone. She was sitting quietly and alone in her house at night, trying – but repeatedly failing – to send a text using the unfamiliar system. She finally gave up in exasperation and shouted: "Well fuck off then" at the phone. Whereupon a voice replied, with the eerie calm hitherto only mastered by HAL: "Have I done something wrong?" She did not know the phone was equipped with a speech app and is still in a state of physical and emotional collapse.
Dr Emma Wilson
And now she's about to make friends with a clever dick.
Not that voice activation is any kind of silver bullet.
Alan White is a news editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.
Contact Alan White at email@example.com.
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