Jackoatsmon's Blog

November 6, 2011

Kids and Technology

Filed under: Aspergers,Musings — jackoatsmon @ 3:15 pm

I was one of those that grabbed the iPhone 4S when it was released.  I actually had to queue twice as my spouse wanted one as well.  Took me hours to get it done.  We were both happy to get the new iPhone as both of our phones were starting to act up and it was time for a change.

The features have already been discussed over many forums and media reports so I won’t bother to go into them.  (This is not a technology writeup anyway.)

The most notable feature was, of course, the SIRI.  We got home and started asking it all sorts of ridulous questions (just like everyone else).  As adults, we knew that it was ultimately a piece of software and limited our questions accordingly.  What was amusing to me was having my son ask SIRI how to do certain things in all seriousness.  As his enunciation isn’t very good, I doubt that the question was ever properly captured in the first place and he finally gave up.  😦

What I did not expect to see was the situation which arose when my daugther, who has Aspergers, tried to give instructions to SIRI.  She had apparently tried to get SIRI to play a song for her but as SIRI could not really catch our local accent, it kept giving her the usual replies like “I do not understand” or “I am not able to”.  This upset my daughter so much that she broke down and cried because she felt that SIRI was being very rude to her.

Aspergers problems aside, it seems as though technology is finally starting to get to the point where it is able to appear to be an intelligent entity in its own right where humans expect that it would response to their words the way another person might.  Where will this leads us?  On one hand, we can look at the future as shown in the various Star Trek and similiar shows where the computer can execute commands given verbally.  On the other, we can look at shows like the Matrix.

Fortunately for me, I am likely to be dust before such a thing happens and I can still treat it as an interesting piece of fiction.  🙂

There is a podcast by the mr brown show spoofing SIRI that is very funny to those who know the culture for Singapore.  View it at http://clips.tojsiab.com/?w=simi or at http://mrbrownshow.com/ (6 Oct podcast).


December 2, 2009

Kid’s Camp

Filed under: Aspergers,Musings — jackoatsmon @ 1:41 pm

My daughter is away from home for the first time.  She is attending a brownie camp at her school.  Had to let her go as she needs to be exposed to new experiences and become more independent.  Nevertheless, there are so many things to worry about.  Will she be able to eat properly.  With the hyper-sensitivity of her taste buds linked to her Aspergers, there are so many things that she just cannot tolerate eating which other kids can.  Will she do anything that will alienate her from the other kids despite all our reminders?  Will she be able to sleep away from home?  Will she be bullied?

I know that all parents go through this when their kid goes away from home for the first time and perhaps even when they go away for the second, third, fortieth time.  I know that more often than not, nothing happens and the kid returns safe and happy.  Still cannot help having a little worry deep down inside.  The Aspergers does not help either. 😦

October 30, 2009

A Different Perspective

Filed under: Aspergers,Musings,Pets — jackoatsmon @ 11:21 am

My father succeeded in mating a pair of canaries recently and we had the opportunity to see the eggs laid and hatched.  We saw the chicks in their nest growing from little wet creatures who could not open their eyes to little birds who craned their necks out for food and who are now rather big and moving about the cage on their own.

Throughout all these stages, I have had my mum and my wife going on about how cute or how amazing they are.  Agreed with them and didn’t think any further about it.  That is until one morning when my daughter told me that she is glad that her grandfather raised the baby birds because it gave her a chance to witness the life cycle first hand.  Wow.  I never looked at it that way and I believe no one else in the family did either.

My daughter has Aspergers.  It makes her different from ‘normal’ children but that is not necessarily a bad thing.  Her view of the world is different and reminds me that there is a different way to view things that we take for granted.

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