My son woke up this morning excited to wear his new tank top, but mindful that Bay Area weather is unpredictable. "Siri - what will the temperature be today?" was his way to get the answer. Over breakfast, he interrupted the morning news playing to ask the Amazon Echo device to tell him a joke. Outside, the family car had parked itself - a slightly unnerving exercise which involved my lifting my hands from the steering wheel, as the car expertly calculated curb and proximate car distances to a perfect parallel park.
These examples of artificial intelligence woven into the daily rhythm of middle class family life were, of course, unthinkable in my youth. But it's fair to say that we didn't suffer from their absence. It's fun, of course, but does anyone really need a self-parking car (much less an automated joke teller)?