For most of us, Siri or Google Now (or Cortana, if you swing that way) is a minor help at best, a first-world solution to the first-world problem of not being able to text and drive. But as Judith Newman illustrates today in a heartfelt and heart-warming piece in the New York Times, Apple’s digital assistant has become a lifeline for her autistic son.
Newman tells the tale of her autistic son, Gus, and his relationship with Siri, which seemingly takes on the role of a modern imaginary friend. According to Newman, Siri has not only become a companion for Gus, but has also helped him with improving his conversational skills.
More than a practical documentation of the usefulness of personal assistants, though (not to overlook that crucially important message, of course), it’s a legitimately touching story about the unintended benefits that technology can have. It’s definitely worth setting aside ten minutes of your weekend to read. [New York Times]