Somewhere in the future, computers will talk to us and we will talk back. Remember when computers only spoke when spoken to?
Those were the days of the original classic Star Trek with Captain Kirk, Mr. Spock, Dr. McCoy, and chief engineer Scotty. The computer could speak in a very human voice. A female voice.
The Star Trek computer was a device with a female voice, a personality-less utility subservient to the crew’s whims. Apparently the computer could calculate at blinding speed, make assumptions based on patterns in data, but not provide true interaction.
The computer in the every Star Trek series was female and subservient to a mostly male-dominated crew.
Humanity is dominated by males (a few tribal civilizations not withstanding). That’s the way it’s always been. Why should we expect prognostications of the future to be different than a reflection of the culture we know today?
In the future, as evidenced in every Star Trek episode, computers could be reprogrammed by mere mortals in minutes or hours to perform highly complex tasks which were not part of their original programs. Star Trek classic relied on computer “tapes” which, in our time, were replaced just a few years later with massive hard disk drives, which will be replaced in the future with solid, molecular storage that will hold unheard of quantities of data.
Back to the future. What we predict of the future is often a reflection of what we know today. Today, we do not interact with a computer other than point and click and reading a few pop up dialog boxes. So, the future of computing, as evidenced by science fiction, still has mankind pushing buttons, but not actually interacting or communicating with the device being pushed.
When will the computer interact with humans? When it does, will it be a male or female voice? Will it be a subservient device or a companion?
If I had to bet, I’d go with a companion voice that has a personality. Perhaps something like a pet dog that can talk, though. Or, a ditzy blonde. That way the companion remains subservient.
Men like it that way.