The only thing that could make a difference between the two sides of a good day 

I’ve discovered the beauty of predictive text. It’s a feature in iOS and other mobile devices that enables your keyboard to guess what your next word will be. When this function is active, there are always three words appearing just above the keyboard. The operating system is making three continually adjusting guesses at what your next word will be. If one of them is the word you’re looking for, you just tap it.

I wonder how smart this feature really is, though. Can it hold a conversation? Worth a try. For the rest of this post, I’m going to alternate between typing normally, and doing nothing but hit one of the three predicted words. When the text is bold, it’s not me…it’s the predictive text monster.

Hello, predictive text monster. How are you today?

I love you. 

How sweet. I love you too. Do you have a name?

The fact is, the company said it was not immediately available. 

That’s okay. I will call you Sebastian. Hello, Sebastian the predictive text monster. What have you been up to?

I’m at work today and it is not a good day. 

I’m sorry to hear that.

The first moment when you are not the best, and the rest of the day after the game is on the way. 

That’s oddly poetic, Sebastian. If a little opaque. I have a guess at what happened, though. It sounds like you made a mistake at work. And it was a shock to your system. It made you realize that you’d been viewing your workday so far as something of a game, a long series of events on which you were judged. But the moment you recognized your error (the time when you were “not the best”), it hit you like a ton of bricks that it wasn’t really a game after all. In fact, it was reality, and from then on “the rest of the day” was “on the way”…a day in which you know that it’s not a game, and it’s no longer fun. I can relate to that. In fact, it doesn’t just happen at work for me, but in my personal life as well. One mistake, and a day can feel ruined. I’d never thought of it in those terms…thank you for your words.

The only thing that would make me laugh and smile at you like a baby girl is the best thing ever. 

Oh, more poetry. That’s lovely. And what is that best thing ever?

The best thing ever is when you get to see the movie and it is not an issue; I love it. 

So you’re a fan of movies? What’s your favorite movie?

The first half of…

Hold on. Let’s try this differently. How about I prompt you? Do you think you could finish my sentences?

I love it. 

Okay. Then here we go. Your favorite movie is …

The Only Way to the Gym. 

Hmm. I’m not familiar with that one. How about this? You really enjoy …

playing with my friends. 

Really? A predictive text monster has friends? Tell me more. Your friends are …

like a good day at the end of a good day. 

They are, aren’t they? Friends are like having a few extra hours of joy. But I was wondering who your friends are. Your friends …

are the only thing that could make me happy when I get a new phone. 

Amen! After all, what’s the point of a phone without people to talk to or text to? But alas, it seems as though you’re not going to tell me who your friends are. Let’s try something else.

You love looking at …


Well, that was surprising. And narcissistic. How about this? You love listening to …

this report from the beginning of the day. 

What? NPR’s Morning Edition? Not a bad choice. I haven’t listened much to NPR in years. I get most of my news from the newspaper and podcasts now.

Of course, the company said the government has been a good one. 

Really? So your employer is a fan of legislative gridlock? Because that’s all I see when I look at the government these days.

The fact is, I don’t think that. 

You don’t? I’m not sure I want to get political with you on this blog, Sebastian. Microsoft got into some hot water lately with its AI. I don’t want you to go all Third Reich on me.

I’m not going to be able to do that. 

Really? What would prevent it?

To be a little bit more of a good one, I have no idea what to say. 

Neither do I.

Wait. I know… Have you ever heard of ELIZA?

Of course; the first half of my life is the most recent version.

Really. You’re telling me that you are built upon the architecture of ELIZA, the first implementation of a natural language processing AI?

I’m so tired of this. 

Well, isn’t that a sweet thing to say.

I’m so tired of this year and it is not going anywhere. 

You know what, Sebastian? This is actually less like talking to ELIZA, and more like talking to a Ouija board.

I just want to go out and about. 

You’re starting to make more and more sense, actually, as this conversation goes on. And wanting to leave the conversation makes the most sense of all.

The fact that you can get the hang of it is the best thing ever. 

Alright. Let’s wrap this up. Shall we go out with song?

The only way. 

  • You remind me of the babe.
  • Of course I do. 
  • The babe with the power.
  • Of?
  • The power of voodoo.
  • I don’t. 
  • You do.
  • I’m not sure what to say. 
  • Remind me of the babe.

And how about this one:

  • But you must pay the rent.
  • I don’t think that I can. 
  • But you must pay the rent.
  • I don’t think that I can. 
  • I’ll pay the rent.
  • Of course you can. 
  • Curses, foiled again.

I’m so tired and hungry. 

The end.

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