I have always been interested in the anthropomorphization of the word ‘smart’ and its use or connotation when applied to computing. Lister tells us that smart houses, intelligent domestic appliances, black box edutainment systems and personal post-web info-sumerism portals are all the rage in futurist circles (223 -239). What makes these houses ‘smart’ and these appliances ‘intelligent’? Ability to follow simple pre-programmed hierarchical decision trees and the element of interactivity? Isn’t that essentially what a computer does now? Then why don’t we call the computers we use today ‘smart’ : Why don’t we call other devices with complex microprocessors like microwaves ‘smart’. Does this conversely mean that all other houses and appliances are ‘dumb’? The choice and application of vocabulary revolving around this issue is an interesting one to ponder and it leaves me thinking… is it a case of projecting our own egos, hopes and fears or is it just a matter of garbage in/garbage out in the post- industrial consumer dream.
These smart meters don’t seem very smart to me