In line with much of the general population, I rarely get a full night’s sleep. Neither a world leader with many responsibilities nor a wild young lad, I’m merely an insomniac.
Recently – yielding to Sara’s incessant advice that I buy a smartwatch – I acquired an Apple Watch. I still wasn’t too sure why I’d done this, so Sara badgered me into loading it with an app called AutoSleep. Every morning, now, AI independently verifies my latest defeat in the battle with insomnia – just in case I think I’m totally wasted for some other reason, and any recollection of tossing and turning for hours is delusory.
This morning I finally gave up on getting any more sleep. This time, however, when I tapped on my watchface it congratulated me big time on having scored 100 percent on all four Autosleep dimensions.
So why did I feel so groggy? Maybe it was the unaccustomed surfeit of sleep.
Testing matters, I tried bounding out of bed right into my exercise routine. Now all I had to do was wait for the euphoria to kick in and then welcome back my Muse, who’d congratulate me on my eight hours of shut-eye and tell me to get my ass in gear, creatively speaking.
Yeah. And then, thinking I’d gloat some more, I double-checked with my iPhone for the full AutoSleep report. Shock and disbelief. It told me that, overall, I’d in fact scored only 74 percent that night, including zero hours of “deep sleep.” And when I looked, my Watch now corraborated the iPhone’s take on things. What the hell?
Suddenly I felt tired. I relapsed into my usual insomnical self, feeling in no way inclined to pen a few immortal words, much less burst into song in the shower.
Here’s the question. Did I dream all that stuff about getting a world-class sleep? Or was it merely AI messing with my head? A trial run at driving me nuts before taking over the world.
Whatever. This is all one more step in my assimilation by the IoT, the Internet of Things. More and more I’m being shaped by the tweaks and nudges of our Techno-utilitarian Überlord, the relentless algorithmic engineering of my person.
Sara tells me to chill. “Hey, and what kind of geezer calls his spiffy new smartwatch a ‘wrist monitor’?” she asks me. Then she looks thoughtful. “If you really don’t like it, why don’t you give it to me?”