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Love of Computer-Assisted Convenience

It was all quite innocent at first. Prompts with autocomplete inquiries in Google search box. Facebook tips on who to add to your friend list. Holiday ideas from AirBnB. Netflix collections like "Movies you will love." Algorithms were getting smarter and better at guessing our wishes. Or maybe it was the other way around — our wishes began matching better with smart algorithms’ predictions. Whichever the case might be, convenience became habit, and then habit grew into necessity. Today we can hardly get anything done without artificial intelligence — from buying a pair of jeans to starting a relationship. People tend to rely on smart machines more and more instead of trusting their own intuition and feelings. "Congrats, Lisa! You have two new matches: Nick (Level 4, probability of reciprocal feelings 67%) and Mark (Level 3, probability of reciprocal feelings 84%). Your custom recommendation is Mark," says a student's virtual assistant when she gets up in the morning. "To initiate an acquaintance, I recommend sending Mark sticker RT7619S from the 'Funny Doggies' collection. The 'Kick-Off' bonus pack provides a six times greater probability of favorable outcome! Do not miss your chance: Two more clients are considering Mark as a potential partner!" The bot ramps up the urgency. Lisa will choose Mark; the machine is a perfect consultant. And “Funny Doggies” is sure to work. The bot has factored in Mark’s preferences. The world is now a better place. Some thirty years ago, Lisa's peers often suffered from unrequited love. They were tortured by doubts. Now everything is much simpler: mutual interest matching, psychological profiling, pulse and respiratory rate monitoring while the subject is studying profiles … pure progress. This perfect convenience had its price, though. We saw the standardization of feelings. No more exhausting one-way love, frantic jealousy, mad follies, and sleepless nights — just convenience and comfort according to system-advised parameters: "Level 3 romance is optimal considering your current health."