Fantastic analysis here by Kyle Vanhemert. I love all of the ideas opened up in this Wired article:
First, this is THE key idea to successful interaction design:
“A few weeks into the making of Her, Spike Jonze’s new flick about romance in the age of artificial intelligence, the director had something of a breakthrough. After poring over the work of Ray Kurzweil and other futurists trying to figure out how, exactly, his artificially intelligent female lead should operate, Jonze arrived at a critical insight: Her, he realized, isn’t a movie about technology. It’s a movie about people. With that, the film took shape.”
Then, Jonze’s term: ‘slight future’ in contrast to near future or sci fi
Then as Vanhemert argues, that ‘her’ “shows us a future where technology is more people-centric. The world Her shows us is one where the technology has receded, or one where we’ve let it recede. It’s a world where the pendulum has swung back the other direction, where a new generation of designers and consumers have accepted that technology isn’t an end in itself–that it’s the real world we’re supposed to be connecting to. (Of course, that’s the ideal; as we see in the film, in reality, making meaningful connections is as difficult as ever.)”
the concept of ‘undesigning’…
Then, the seamless integration of voice control interface into everyday life, what Vanhemert describes as:
“The Holy Grail: A Discrete User Interface
The greatest act of undesigning in Her, technologically speaking, comes with the interface used throughout the film. Theo doesn’t touch his computer–in fact, while he has a desktop display at home and at work, neither have a keyboard. Instead, he talks to it. “We decided we didn’t want to have physical contact,” Barrett says. “We wanted it to be natural. Hence the elimination of software keyboards as we know them.””
This super smart analysis is why I subscribe to Wired.
I loved this film & it has the only ‘sex’ scene I’ve ever seen that’s brought me tears. Yup. Said it. Because that scene created a connection to the essence of an experience that bypassed all of the mechanics & visual over indulgence that characterizes movie sex today.
If the value of fiction, drama, film, is to open up worlds we have not experienced or that have not yet been realized, Spike Jonze’s ‘her’ did that. This vision of a ‘slight future’ is entirely believable and very very human. Last night at the Golden Globes, Jonze accepted the award for best screenplay, saying that he wasn’t very good at speaking English and that was his first language. Ironic, coming from the man whose films tap into and express emotional cores and relationships that speak more resonantly that most other living filmmakers today.