Today I received an email from a company from which I had previously ordered stuff on-line. I got a kick out of the engaging subject line of the email, reproduced here verbatim:

Hey { first_name|title|default:’there’ }}, ready to reorder?

There is something vaguely sweet and clueless about this: A company tries, yet spectacularly fails, to provide a human touch.

They attempted to reach out to me in a personal way, but relied entirely on buggy software to do the deed. So I ended up getting this weird garbled message from an unambiguously non-human bot.

You can cut the irony with a knife.

And it makes me wonder. How many so called “human interactions” with vendors involve no human at all in the loop?

How far along are we toward a dystopian future that many of us fear: A world in which all too many of our so called “personal” interactions do not involve any other human being at all?

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