Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Dear Santa, Here’s What I Need

          It isn’t often you discover a cool gift when you’re at a doctor appointment, but that’s what happened just last week.
          St. Bob had a check-up on his knee replacement, and since Bob is up on all matters tech, he noticed the doctor was wearing a Google Glass thingy on his eyeglasses.
          Turns out this gizmo will make dictation a thing of a past.  For decades doctors have had to summarize their patient visits into a mike after each exam, transcribed later by an assistant.
          But now they’re starting to wear these phenomenal spectacles that connect them to a remote scribe so they can keep notes as they go, right while you’re sitting there talking to them.  Our guy’s scribe is in India.
          Augmedix says they are rehumanizing doctor/patient relations this way, and are investing millions to do it.
          Can you imagine the ways I could use such a device?  “Wait—didn’t you just buy celery two days ago?” it could ask as I’m losing my mind in the produce department.  Or it could prompt me with impressive trivia when in a conversation with a Brainiac at a party.  And I could keep it busy all day, telling me why I just went upstairs, or into the family room, where I now stand wondering what I came in for.
          Like a little assistant sitting on my shoulder--but an angel instead of a devil-- it could tell me to slow my driving down (which I would ignore), or remind me to put the laundry in the dryer.  It could catch spelling mistakes as I write along, it could remind me that I wore the red blouse at the last meeting, and it could even tell me about sudden sales, better traffic routes, or how to fix the microwave without calling a repairman.
          You could suddenly go on the speaking circuit, using this thing as your personal teleprompter.  You could ask for a raise, propose to your girlfriend, apologize profusely—win a zillion friends.
          On the other hand, knowing our budget, Bob could buy me a bargain one and I could get an idiot on the other end, giving me all the wrong answers.
          “Turn left,” he would say.  And then as I’m careening down a cliff, “Oops.”  
           Or my scribe could forget to make the list I said I needed, and leave me to wander aimlessly with a shopping cart, finally picking up his favorite pickled herring and jalapeno mustard.
          No, this thing has to be done right.  Which is where you come in.  Be a lamb and buy a few of my books here.  Seriously, there’s something for everyone and royalties for me.  That’s  how I’ll finally get the brain I need.

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