I just watched Her on Friday night and haven't been able to stop thinking about it. Have you heard of it? It's about Theodore Twombly (played by the phenomenal Joaquin Pheonix), a soulful, lonely guy who's still mending from a breakup until he winds up falling in love with his computer's new artificially intelligent operating system, which has named herself Samantha. As the two get to know each other and Samantha's own intelligence develops into more complex thoughts, wants, needs, and consciousness, the two have to contend with frustrating limitations and the role they're playing in each other's lives.
It really made me think about what are the requirements for love to take form. Do you need physical contact or ever see or feel the person in order to care deeply about them? No, I don't believe so. Thanks to technology you can engage in a long distance relationship for years and still feel deeply connected to this person. I think the way into the heart is through the mind and as long as there's a sense that this person knows you, understands you, makes you happy, then love can blossom there. This movie blew me away with how much emotion voice can carry and how words can paint anything into being. Are the feelings any less real if the voice on the other side isn't human?
While Theodore keeps straddling the line between joy and doubt over his falling for software, I love that his friends are so open and accepting about the relationship between man and machine. Like his friend Amy put it, "I've just come to realize that, we're only here briefly. And while I'm here, I wanna allow myself joy. So fuck it."
Do you think you could ever fall in love with a machine? The way we're heading with our inability to unplug for a minute, I won't be surprised when that day arrives.