“There is something that feels so good about sharing your life with somebody”
In the 2013 movie Her, a lonely writer named Theodore falls in love with an intelligent operating system named Samantha. And unlike other sci-fi movies, Her hits close to home. What with the uncanny similarities of today’s technology – smartphone devices and wireless earbud – it makes you wonder how long till Siri gains consciousness.
At first sight, you’d marvel at the strange romantic relationship between the two characters have and how dreamy the experience must’ve been to have such a special connection with anyone, or anything for that matter, but underneath all the poetic dialogue, lies a premise that’s too strong to ignore.
Samantha was customized to fit the needs of Theo , almost as if her algorithm was made for lonely men. She can sense his sadness and acts to mends it. Yet in the end, it still doesn’t work out. Because Theo’s feelings, even if it looks like an arithmetic problem to Samantha, can never be solved by ones and zeroes.
With the emergence of technology sitting right in our pockets, we turn to them for the instant feedback they give and soak up the momentary, fleeting moment of satisfaction that we get. A smartphone might create an output that can easily fit our needs with the data we give to them but it’s still no match to the depth of human interaction.
Emotions are emotions. They are subjective and intangible. You can’t use algorithms, codes and math equations to solve isolation and most specially loneliness.