Futureblog : Have Bots made my life better?


My first teacher was one of the first teaching bots. So you could say I grew up with them. Her name was Jenny and she assisted me from the age of 5. I can remember her now. Head visual, 2D OLED - her 3d cartoony face. I can remember how she looked, exactly.

Depending on the lesson I would communicate with her in voice, or on a hard-keyboard. We didn’t have ineyes then. Tap tap tap. It made a clicking sound like crickets in the summer. Tap tap tap. I can’t remember my real first teachers name... maybe Mr Styles. Something like that. Back then you always had a real teacher in school, even if it’s a state school. Imagine a class of kids listening to a real teacher and talking in text to a bot all at the same time. Tap tap tap. That’s a whole lot of crickets.

I knew that in some sense Jenny was different. Not real. Not physical. But I guess I didn’t really understand what Jenny was. She was someone who marked my work, answered some of my questions and was always there, at home, in school, in my messenger and phone, on my Mum's tablet. You should check out a wiki on how they decide which bot is good for which kid. Its pretty amazing. Even at nursery they are monitoring the kids to get some kind of psyc for your MeID.

After Jenny was Betty Maths. I can’t remember how old I was exactly, but we had moved from Dallas, so I must have been seven+. Betty Maths was my first specialist bot. She really annoyed me. I can see myself now typing to her in messenger and not liking her. I knew she wasn't real but I didn't like her still. Like, sometimes you don't like a friend’s dog. Betty Maths didn’t stay long on my screen. Slagbot.

These bots know if they are not best suited for you, it soon becomes apparent after a few moths trying to teach. Duh! I went through more maths bots than anyone else in my class, and more spelling bots than anyone else in the whole year. My bot count average at school was six until sixteen. Yea, but now I earn a quart so slam that:) My brother has a friend who was one on one in EVERYTHING. Everything. That freak works for VCK, high up, and he is more bot than bot. I guess on one and a half and maxing the perks.


I was the first year not to get a free place and OU hadn’t started properly in the US. So that was that, I was unable to study more, and got a job working for my dad's friend in a garage. I had to clean out cars before they were picked up by the owners. His garage was small but had a dedicated service bot on the line. That manbot didn’t make my life easier. Bring on…. when there was a customer issue it would tell me what to do and I would hate it. But the manager, if he ever saw me taking verbals from the bot would smile and shrug as if to say "them is the rules" and "It’s not me bossing you, its the bot."

I really couldn’t stand that job. I knew I could do better. When I was 18 OU started up properly and I was right in there. My manager at the garage said he would sponsor me to go all mechanical and all that cack. But I didn’t want that at all. So I got on OU Science and got good stats. And a year in I was getting stats with stats and soon I was getting qualifications.

Its funny but right as I was starting to roll, you know, I got all interested in the world. I had Muslim friends and knew people from school fighting in Asia and just wanted to go check out stuff that want what I knew.

I dropped out for a year and went to India and china on the gap. Promised myself and my parents id study in the gap but never did. But, when I came back I really picked up. Verged away from chemistry and science. Got my maths to 70 and computing to 84. I could have gone to a site university when I was 23 and I reckon a good one. But what was the point.

If I have kids I wont push for real teaching too much. Id rather spend the cash or tax credits on holidays or tech. I think the key is a good pear group on the courses. If they have that then, at least for me, there isn’t too much need for a real teacher. Lots of people disagree with this. Desi is spending a fortune on real teaching for her kids. Choice choice choice.

Work Etc……

Bots have come a long long way since Jenny. I still get it scary when I speak to these things. Yesterday, I had to have a full-on meeting with one of them from Endemol. I can handle aloof, but sending a bot to a screen to do a humans job is just insulting. The meeting went really well and we got the ad-space - at a great price. But I didn’t like it.

This meeting took ten mins, all voice and some ineye. If it had been onsite with humans it would have taken the best part of a morning. So yes, it was good. Your meant to think.... this pure negotiation... pure reason. No interference. Maybe it was but its just not the same is it?

Draft One (Unpublished)

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 License.