English as a Foreign Language

My lovely father gifted me a Kindle book this morning – “Notes From A Big Country” by Bill Bryson, in case you’re interested. It was every bit as good as he said it was going to be; so good, in fact, that I found myself reading out a passage to Hubby before I’d even reached the second page. As I did so, our Kinect overheard me.

The Kinect and I have a tumultuous relationship. For those of you who have yet to sample the delights of its technological prowess, a Kinect is a little black box that attaches to your Xbox console, designed with the power to overhear everything you say, spy on you in your underpants and respond to its observations as it sees fit. Largely by opening applications on demand, but only when it feels like it.

Over the past two years, I have come to accept that my voice, specifically my accent, renders it utterly incapable of functioning. In response, I’ve taken to putting on a (really bad) accent when I’m alone in the house, just to save myself the 10 minutes of “Play… play… PLAY… Xbox, play. Just PLAY, would you. PLAAAAY” I’m forced to go through when I want to watch a tellybox show. I’ve made my peace, albeit unwillingly, with the knowledge that, for the rest of my days, I will be deliberately misunderstood by a stubborn and highly primitive AI.

I was not, however, prepared for this:

What happens when your Kinect can't understand you

Eager to please as always, our Kinect immediately assumed I needed its assistance and, because really the only help a Kinect can offer is to dash off to the depths of the internet on your behalf, leaped gallantly to its search screen, where it diligently recorded everything it thought I had said.

I stress the word “thought”, because I have no idea what a joory is, nor why the Kinect is resolute in its refusal to admit that the words coming out of my mouth are, indeed, the English language. I did mention Florida, but I have never knowingly discussed akosuahs (largely because I don’t know what they are, either).

In conclusion, I can express no surprise whatsoever that no search results were found.

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