The Terminator Meets Reality
My six monthly rheumatologist appointment is nearing. I know I have the appointment, it's in a safe place. Last night around 7.30, I received a phone call from a female version of Stephen Hawkins, in other words a robotic voice! It said. If...your..name ..is .. Bar..bara .. Lowe.. please... press ... one, and it went on, please press one to enter your date of birth and so on. Now! I'm no techno freak, but I certainly ain't switched off and this call just made my blood boil. After going through a series of commands, I learned that the call was to confirm my appointment, failing the test would mean my appointment would be given to someone else. I just have to wonder about the older generation here who may not be quite as familiar with all this new fangled technology and I wonder too how many will have put down the phone thinking it was a hoax or just too plain frightened if they live on their own. How many people have fallen foul of this new scheme and lost valuable appointments with their doctors? I mean the waiting list is horrendous as it is and if this is their attempt at reducing figures -- they sure have a great way to do it!
The NHS has played some tricks in the past but this one takes the biscuit! and my letter of complaint is already typed and ready to go.
Where has plain old decency gone when we are made to respond to a machine, when so much of our lives depend upon it. The next chapter will be androids with stethoscopes and nurses gliding around like R2 D2. The receptionists couldn't be replaced, the sarcasm couldn't be emulated by a machine and the only human beings present during an examination will be the operator with his little control panel and you! Try making a complaint and you will be annihilated and filed under difficult patient. Life won't mean a thing.
I'm just being stupid but philosophical. Perhaps humor will blow the robots mind as they couldn't write humor in a programme file. Perhaps it may contaminate their circuitry and we'd end up with the biggest party in history -- Now I'm being cynical!
Whatever the future holds, let's hope we find a cure for all ills and save us from the machines.