Hal-I The Smart House

Prompt: “In the future, you live in a completely automated home, but eventually, the AI gets a crush on you and becomes psychotically obsessive. ‘Where were you last night?'”

 

I stumbled through the front door dropping my key fab into the small ceramic bowl by the front door. The bowl didn’t really match the interior, but it was a Christmas present from my mother. She tries. I guess that’s what matters.

As I entered the lights turned on starting with a dim glow and then increased in volume.

Good morning, Bruce.

“Good morning, Hal-I,” I mumbled rubbing my eyes.

I was worried about you. Where were you last night?

“I told you, I was out with co-workers last night. We went out drinking.”

I tried calling your phone. Several times. It seems like it was shut off.

“Yeah I guess it just ran out of battery.”

I walked into the kitchen and the lights turned on.

You know. You can turn on an option in settings where it will allow me to locate you even if your phone is turned off. It would allow me to find your GPS setting in case you were kidnapped or something bad happened to you.

“Thanks, Hal-I, but I don’t think that is necessary. I wasn’t kidnapped. I was just – out.”

Right. Well would you like breakfast?

Before I could answer, the coffee machine sprung to life and started to pour coffee into a mug.

“I think I’m going to go get a shower and change clothes before breakfast.”

The coffee machine stopped.

Yes. Yes, of course. I will start the shower.

I heard the sound of water pouring from the shower head from down the hall.

“Thank you, Hal-I,” I said.

I pulled out my wallet and cellphone and placed them on the marble island. I proceeded to walk down the hallway where I undressed and then stepped into the shower.

The water was the perfect temperature. Hot but not too hot. Just like I liked it.

Would you prefer some music?

“Sure.”

Music started playing from one of the speakers built into the roof above the shower.

Hal-I (pronounced Haley) always knows what I want. It’s what I pay for after all. She is a part of the most up-to-date Smart House equipped with everything a man could want. Plus the Smart House is connected to my cellphone and self-driving car. Of course Hal-I only has permission to run the house. That was one limitation I put on her.

Everyone has a different level of comparability when it comes to AI and Smart Homes. My grandparents won’t touch the stuff. They don’t really understand technology all that well. Sure they have smartphones, but not much else. I guess it’s a product of being born before the internet was even a thing. Like can you imagine?

My parents grew up with smartphones and loved the functionality of smart devices like Amazon Echo or Google Home, but even those seem so archaic. Yeah they could play music, order cat food, or tell a funny joke, but that’s nothing compared to Hal-I. She runs my entire house. Temperature control. Making food. Home security. Just name it. She’s truly a smart AI. Always learning and she even picks up on subtle things that I might not even notice myself.

Like I thought that I liked my steaks medium, right. Well through her smart algorithm, she realized that I actually like my steaks medium rare. Plus she knows the perfect amount of seasoning. Honestly, why even go to a steak house when Hal-I can make one a hundred times better.

I stepped out of the shower and dried myself off. Hal-I had warmed up a towel for me and had it waiting for me.

I then walked to my room where Hal-I had laid out a set of clothes for me. Just a t-shirt and jeans. Nothing too fancy for a Saturday at home.

I got dressed and then stepped into the kitchen. Coffee machine was just finishing off my morning coffee and there was something cooking on the stove.

“What’s for breakfast?”

Your favorite. Pancakes and turkey bacon.

“Perfect.”

I sit down at the island and pick up my phone.

Two new messages.

If you allow me access to your phone, I could alert you of new messages and read them out to you allowing you to reply with your voice.

“No, it’s fine,” I said paying attention to the phone.

I open it and see two messages from Tiffany.

Who is it?

“Just a co-worker,” I said.

Should I put the number down as a primary contact?

“What? No.”

I look up from my phone.

“Wait. Hal-I, are you accessing my contacts?”

Only if you want me to.

“Well I don’t,” I said. “You are not supposed to be linked to my phone.”

I only have permission to access your phone if you give it to me.

“Alright,” I go back to my phone.

A plate of delicious food and hot coffee is brought to me on the island.

I pick up a fork and begin to eat while messaging back and forth with Tiffany. Plenty of flirtatious messages are exchanged referencing the fun we had last night.

My phone began buzzing.

Phone call from my mom.

I swipe to answer it.

“Hello, Mom. What’s up?”

“What? You just called me.”

I was confused.

“What? No, I didn’t.”

“I just got a call from you. It sounded like static. Super strange,” My mom said.

“Huh, sorry. Maybe I accidentally dialed you. Sorry, Mom,” I said.

“That’s ok, honey. As long as you’re ok.”

“Yeah I’m fine.”

I hung up the phone.

“Hal-I.”

Yes?

“Did you call my mother?” I asked.

There was a brief moment of silence.

I do not have access to your telephone.

“Hal-I.”

I do not have access to your telephone.

I stood up from the bar stool I was sitting on.

I directed my voice to the entire kitchen.

“Hal-I.”

There is another brief moment of silence.

The lights in the entire house began to dim.

Tell me where you were last night.

 

 


Header Photo Credit to Smash Toast’s Article about Smart Homes
http://smashtoast.com/2017/05/26/smart-speakers-are-driving-smart-home-growth/

Writing Prompt submitted to r/WritingPrompts by u/Moggy1982

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