Tag: autism

Murderbot through new eyes

Murderbot: An Autistic-Coded Robot Done Right

…it feels deeply meaningful to me that Murderbot shows characters who can’t communicate with words and still treats them as people. When Murderbot hops on a bot-driven transport, it can’t talk to it with words, but it can watch movies with it. In real life, a non-autistic person may have an autistic loved one who they can’t communicate with verbally, but they can read the same books or watch the same movies and bond through them.

What the message of the story comes down to (in addition to the classic sci-fi “capitalism sucks” message that I love so very much) is “Machine intelligences are not human, they will never be human, they will always be different, but they’re still people and they’re still worthy of respect.”

I read and enjoyed the Murderbot series. I read it through my own eyes and lens on the world. It’s refreshing to see the story through the eyes of someone who connects more with Murderbot than the Preservation humans.

It makes me wonder what other media and arts contain different stories and lessons when viewed through other eyes. What am I missing because I see the world through my eyes? What do I read as a different character from “normal” and others see as reflections of themselves?

How One Boy With Autism Became BFF With Apple’s Siri – NYTimes.com

It all began simply enough. I’d just read one of those ubiquitous Internet lists called “21 Things You Didn’t Know Your iPhone Could Do.” One of them was this: I could ask Siri, “What planes are above me right now?” and Siri would bark back, “Checking my sources.” Almost instantly there was a list of actual flights — numbers, altitudes, angles — above my head.

I happened to be doing this when Gus was nearby. “Why would anyone need to know what planes are flying above your head?” I muttered. Gus replied without looking up: “So you know who you’re waving at, Mommy.”

Via How One Boy With Autism Became BFF With Apple’s Siri – NYTimes.com

This story had me in tears before I was halfway through it. It’s so great to see technology making someone’s life better. It’s the promise technology often fails to live up to. The way Judith Newman captures her son’s friendship with Siri deserves its own feature-length movie.

The illustrations are perfect too. This one is my favorite.

Thanks Jason for sharing this story.