Many BrainPal™ users find it useful to give their BrainPal™ a name other than BrainPal™. Would you like to name your BrainPal™ at this time? “Yes,” I said. Please speak the name you would like to give your BrainPal™. “‘Asshole,’” I said. You have selected “Asshole,” the BrainPal wrote, and to its credit it spelled the word correctly. Be aware that many recruits have selected this name for their BrainPal™. Would you like to choose a different name? “No,” I said, and was proud that so many of my fellow recruits also felt this way about their BrainPal. Your BrainPal™...
Note: You know those Siri call me "Rock Star" ads? It's like they read this @scalzi novel :)
“Are you intelligent?” I asked. I am equipped with a natural language processor and other systems to understand questions and comments and to provide answers, which often gives the appearance of intelligence, especially when connected to larger computer networks. Brain Pal™ systems, however, are not natively intelligent.
Note: OMG it's Siri
I read down the list. Apparently, there was very little Asshole couldn’t do. He could send messages to other recruits. He could download reports. He could play music or video. He could play games. He could call up any document on a system. He could store incredible amounts of data. He could perform complex calculations. He could diagnose physical ailments and provide suggestions for cures. He could create a local network among a chosen group of other BrainPal users. He could provide instantaneous translations of hundreds of human and alien languages. He could even provide field of vision information...
Note: Siri way before its time as BrainPal or slightly less friendly user-selected name :)
When I realized I hadn’t vocalized any of the commands, I felt a creepy vibe wash over me. After another few days, I noticed I became annoyed whenever I would actually have to ask Asshole for something. How quickly the creepy becomes commonplace.
Note: see character has Siri-like BrainPal that weirds him out at first then seems normal