The Optus Ad
We know that technicallly, there is a huge gap between the orchestra and the whales. Besides the fact that the orchestra and whales are different beings who live in different worlds and speak in different languages, it is a fact that it is physically impossible for a human to properly hear a whale song without artificial modifications and editing.
We gathered from the video that the orchestra is the creator of the music used which imitates a language and communication method exclusive to whales. The music itself is the medium in this form of communication, and by imitating the call of whales, the orchestra is able to draw a response from their target audience. In our opinion, the loudspeakers are the communication tools used to amplify the medium in order to physically reach the whales. The underwater microphones are used to physically pick up the initial feedback from the whales with their whale sounds so that the orchestra is able to receive it before the visual and physical response above water.
To us, the ad was efficient in illustrating the point that two beings so different and so tied by their individual boundaries and skill sets are able to connect via a common medium. Even though the language barrier causes a very limited level of understanding, basic communication is still established. This is evident through the whales’ response.
Claims of communication that the ad articulate
From our perspective, the advertisement projected the idea that communications knows no boundaries.
Even though humans and whales are mammals, there is clearly a communication barrier between us and them. They were unable to hear the whales’ call due to the nature of their frequency and also because of the whales’ lack of understanding of any human language. However, through innovation and technology, communications are no longer bound by these issues and these barriers can now be broken to have a limited exchange.
Also, we think that the advertisement is claiming that distance between individuals is no longer an issue with communication.
We feel that the ad is also claiming that the company will utilize every possible avenue and technology available to make the impossible, possible.
By utilizing technology, the difficulty in communication between the humans and the whales due to distance has been downsized. The orchestra were moved closer to the whales’ habitat and speakers were furthermore added into the mix to amplify pseudo whale calls made by the orchestra on the surface. Thus this made it possible for the whales, who lives underwater, to hear the music played effectively. Also, microphones were placed to project the responses of the whales into a frequency and volume that the orchestra were able to listen to.
However, being children of post-modernism, we are slightly suspicious and cynical of the ad because we know that deep down, communication between animal and human is still impossible currently. The extremity of the ad will sell well to the typical consumer, but not to communicators like us.
For us, the Optus advertisement somehow engages the nature loving spirit in the society, which would probably be effective to just a fragment of the market. So in contrast to the above video, we have found another advertisement by a different telecomm company that would probably be more suited to the the general public.
It lacks the bam of the Optus ad, but this Telecom NZ piece gets the message across with a lot more heart.
The Apple Ad
On the surface, we can see Apple promoting an easier day to day life for potential consumers with Siri playing the role of the ever loyal personal assistant.
Amongst other things, this technology can help to type and send messages, schedule and keep track of your meetings. It can be the one stop centre for all the questions that you want answered or even a friend that you can joke with. However, there are many other things that you can learn from this ad, apart from it being just a marketing tool for a product.
Not so long ago, when we think of artificial intelligence – like super smart robots that can practically think for you the first thing that would probably come to mind is a super computer that only the likes of Tony Stark can afford. Either that, or just a distant dream in a very faraway future. However, we have been proven wrong with the creation of consumer technologies such as Siri. The ad is claiming that the leaps and bounds made in communication technology has made them accessible to anyone and everyone.
Furthermore, Siri is a result of the ever growing advancements in communication technologies. It is a type of artificial intelligence that has the ability to learn and adapt better to its users’ needs the more it is used. As a result of this ability, coupled with the fact that millions of users around the world are using it on a daily basis, this technology can experience an exponential growth and can continue to evolve to better replicate the human mind in terms of delivering what people want and need.
The ad also goes on to claim that communication technology has the potential to replace the roles of humans in society. The first job that is replaceable by Siri would be the personal assistant, but as it grows, this leap in communication technology may very well be able to play your sarcastic best friend, your placating concierge as well as a patient parent.
In itself, Siri shows that technology has evolved in a way that the masses can now own a supercomputer right in the palms of their hands. We can say that technology has been simplified to make it easier for the average person to go through his daily life. However, it is also possible that the tables might turn in the near future.
For the longest time, scientists and engineers have been trying to replicate human intelligence. Over the best part of a decade, we believed robots to be the closest that science and technology has come to artificial intelligence. This ad is claiming that we should throw out any preconceptions we have about communication technology because the future of artificial intelligence is here, and it is way smarter than we can ever hope to be.
Since Siri has the capacity to grow at an alarming rate with human input, it might very well be simplifying itself so that we are able to understand it. In addition, it is already able to form its own opinions about the weather, our social life based on the facts and results gleamed from the Internet, our calendar and our browsing patterns. It is claiming that communication technology is moving at such a rapid rate, within time, it will be able to replace human communication – but better yet: there is no noise involved in this exchange.
Siri as an extension of our bodies
We believe that even though Siri might very well be the extension of the entire body, it is ultimately the embodiment of our brain because our brain controls our body.
It emulates the human mind in terms of recording, processing and responding. For instance, Siri is capable of keeping track of information like a memory vault, and that is tantamount to how we register information and experiences in our minds.
It is similar to the way we recall any piece of information from the back of our minds. Just picture yourself reading a book or an encyclopedia, facts and information that you have read will automatically be recorded down in your brain and we will be able to recall the same information when needed. Just like how Siri is able to keep track of the information that we provide and recognize our preferred choice of answers.
We are able to tap into this particular bank of information by posing a verbal query to Siri and in return, it will provide us with the appropriate answers. Instead of looking for answers via a multitude of different sources, Siri is able to provide us with relevant choices and alternatives immediately.
With the use of this extension, we will neglect a couple of manual functions we used to employ using our brains.
Firstly, it amputates our analytical skills, interpretation and our creativity. We have this proclivity to rely on Siri for everything we need. Over reliance of this particular extension effectively eliminates our motivation, initiative and willingness to source for the information we need.
Secondly, it dulls our physical skill of typing. Those of us who uses Siri on a regular basis admits that with its speech recognition and responding capabilities, it makes us fully dependent on it hence making us lazy and reluctant to use the actual functions of the iPhone without it.
Before Siri, we had to type and search manually for everything we want on the iPhone. Since Siri, every bit of information is served to us on a plate.
Despite neglecting the skills that we used to have before the integration of this extension, it has certainly enhanced our ability to make snap decisions since Siri streamlines and offers the most relevant options and answers without giving us room to dawdle and digress.