“The future is dangerous”, the chronicle of Teresa Cremisi

I’m getting used to it, but it’s still a strange experience. Every Monday morning, I find in my mailbox a very detailed message: Microsoft has decided to help me, it has understood that I rely too much on my memory, my intuition, my experience and, as I get older, it thinks that this is not very serious. So I receive polite letters reminding me of what I wrote on Monday, Tuesday, or the previous Wednesday… This is how little boxes “finished or “send me a reminder”. If I don’t react, I get other reminders in case I forgot my promises.

Last Monday was a little maddening. A small anthology of my prose – cut into pieces – displayed the promises that had peppered my correspondence for the week. About forty “I’ll call you back tomorrow”, “I’ll pick you up”, “we’ll see about that on Wednesday”, “don’t worry, I’ll take care of it”, “I’ll definitely think about it”, “yes, I’ll come”. Just thinking back to the dozens of things I had said in good faith made me dizzy.

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My mailbox is showing an optimistic temperament

In addition, my mailbox is showing an optimistic temperament. Every morning, she precedes her notes “commitments and follow-ups” with a thunderous hello intended to encourage me: “A new day awaits you! » (I notice that she is addressing me as you are and that the exclamation mark is a barely concealed order). As for the aftermath of weekends, she is anxious and clingy like a mother: “We hope you had time to recharge. »

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Find here the chronicles of Teresa Cremisi

All this concern troubles me. Like most humans, being policed ​​annoys me. I didn’t ask for anything and I imagine that I could put an end to this digital companionship with a few clicks. But in the end, what upsets me is that it exists: artificial intelligence locates in the billions of billions of texts the sentences containing an intention or a will, the commitments made and the missed appointments, the hopes and the turnovers. Then she shows you all of this so that you learn the basics of work organization. And that you stop hanging around like slackers after chatting up your neighbor.

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I engaged in a silent melee with Microsoft

I have also noticed that at the end of the lists of commitments recalled to our good memories, there is never a ritual question missing: “Was this post helpful to you? » I was careful not to answer. At first out of mistrust; I am convinced that if I answered, there would immediately be other devious injunctions lurking in the shadows that would arise: “Tell us why”, “But still? » Obviously, artificial intelligence is doing its thing on people like me. It needs our reactions to perfect itself and it is programmed to pry into our lives and influence our behavior.

So here’s where I’m at so far: I’ve engaged in a silent tussle with Microsoft. I have not unsubscribed from this helpful service, but I plan attempts to thwart its benevolence and diligence. I decided to test subterfuges to pass neither seen nor known under its radars. I will no longer use the future tense, I mean the tense of the future. It’s too dangerous. I invent circumlocutions with the conditional. “I think I could find a way to tell you” replacing for now ” I’ll tell you “. More ” Wednesday or Thursday “, I substitute them with “the third, the fourth day of the week”. More “mid-December”, but “ideas of the last month”.

I agree, it’s complicated. But freedom has a price.

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“The future is dangerous”, the chronicle of Teresa Cremisi


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