For the socially awkward, having a person in your ear to tell you what to do and say may seem like a dream, but for others, it’s a dystopian nightmare. This episode focuses on White Christmas, an episode found in season 2 of the hit science fiction show Black Mirror. Not only does this episode include the devastatingly handsome Jon Hamm, but it also portrays technology that hits a bit too close to home, like voice assistants that live in your head, blocking people IRL, and even intercepting someone’s brain to get a confession.
After recapping the episode, hosts Gabe and Aliza discuss the technology in the episode along with it’s real life counterparts, focusing on three main topics. Z-eyes, the technology that allowed Jon Hamm’s character to help out those unlucky in love, mirror smarts contacts and glasses like Google Glass, Microsoft’s HoloLens and Magic Leap. They’ll also discuss blocking apps, voice assistants, and whether or not you can code consciousness. Finally, Gabe and Aliza share some intel about FaceMe, an AI company that creates ads with facial recognition technology so that they’re tailored based on your demographic. The podcast’s titular question has never been so relevant.
Gabe and Aliza introduce the topic of this episode, the “White Christmas” episode of Black Mirror (00:50)
Gabe and Aliza recap the episode (1:40)
Discussion of the tech in the episode begins with the Z-eye, comparing it to Google Glass, smart contact lenses, the Microsoft HoloLens and Magic Leap (10:05)
Discussion of blocking people, including stalking statistics, ways to stop cyber stalking, and blocking apps like Hiya and Call Control-Call Blocker (17:00)
Discussion of the cookie and whether or not you can code consciousness (22:00)
In Dear Hollywood, Gabe and Aliza discuss facial recognition, specifically FaceMe, signage with facial recognition that changes advertisements based on their demographics and emotions (26:00)
In Origin Stories, Aliza and Gabe discuss the origins of this black mirror episode, from the 1945 horror film Dead of Night and the Twilight Zone movie to Bluetooth headsets and Google Glass (32:10)
Gabe and Aliza ask the titular question, “are we in the future?” (40:00)