In this week’s podcast, we discuss common communications and computer interfaces in science fiction and ask whether those AI assistants and videophones really make sense. We retell David Foster Wallace’s story about the failure of the videophone from Infinite Jest, and we argue that Samantha from Her would be just as annoying as Microsoft Clippy. We also wonder whether the mind-to-mind connections in Nexus are as likely to take off as a future Snapchat might be.
- David Brin’s Existence
- Ramez Naam’s Nexus
- Her trailer
- David Foster Wallace on the Rise and Fall of the Videophone
- Microsoft Clippy