I really enjoyed Leigh Alexander’s short story. It was captivating and beautifully executed the dynamic relationship between human and technology.
There were a lot of difficult moments Polly’s life that she had to deal with which I felt empathy for. The addition of a virtual assistant Augusta is supposed to lessen her burden yet the obstacle wasn’t as easy to overcome as it seemed. In Polly’s situation, rather than seeing a robot taking care of her miscellaneous duties as a treat, Augusta was accountable for daily tasks hence appeared as a threat who replaced Polly’s role in her household. Our emotion and imagination made us more complicated than other beings. We tend to question our value and place especially when we are vulnerable. Comparing Polly’s attempt to destroy Augusta and her respond to her peer Ruby’s criticism, it is easy for us to release our emotion to a non-human device as we feel less responsible for our behavior yet difficult to effectively communicate our feelings with another human. It is upsetting to think how isolated future ways of expression could be with more and more tech involvement. However, giving us the opportunity to imagine the outcome can perhaps inspire us to reinforce the rudimental human relationship to ensure our emotion is strong and stable enough for changes.