How Chatbots Are Setting Us Free

Updated: Apr 30, 2018

Watch out for these ones. (Photo by James Pond)

Episode 1: Meeting Dame Judy Dench

The Hollywood of my childhood delivered vivid, content-rich, repeatable experiences which touched us individually and collectively over time, until those experiences became points of cultural cohesion. We all watched previews, created our own hype, read reviews, and waited impatiently for the new releases to hit the shelves at Blockbuster.

In high school, I looked up and saw Dame Judy Dench seated at the next table of a restaurant in Manhattan. Realizing who she was, devoted thespian that I was/am, I d̶i̶e̶d̶ was starstruck, and time stood still. I’d ‘seen’ her so many times- in giant close ups at the Cinemax with my mother, on a tiny TV in the basement of my friend’s house, and yet…here she was.

And yet, I’d ugly-cried with her.

And yet, I’d never been in her physical presence in my life.

Dame Judy seemed wonderfully human despite her accomplishments and talent. She displayed earthly humility. I noticed that, though beautiful, she was also a ‘regular’ woman in her mid-sixties.

That day in New York City, I learned that the greatest creative achievements are accomplished by mere people. Flesh-and-blood people.

The reason all flesh-and-blood people have heart palpitations when we bump into our heroes, is because they affirm the magnitude of what we ourselves are truly capable of.

Episode 2: Chatbot Summit 3.0

I expected January’s Chatbot Summit in Tel Aviv to be an extremely tedious intro to a subject I wanted to start to understand.