Wondering whether AI can help married life

Sometimes, in this pressured world, we end up texting our loved ones instead of calling, but those text conversations can add to the stress of relationships. When it comes to communicating over SMS, my wife and I sometimes think quite differently.

Here’s a fictitious text from my wife the other day (I have elaborated only a little): “Now I am at Walgreens waiting for a flu shot but they have a few people ahead of me so I managed to review the list of shopping I still have to do and see that you forget to tell me to pick up your cleaning, do you need it today? I picked up the feed bags from Tractor Supply, then I’ll stop off to see my friend at Tranquil Buzz, before I check the co-op for groceries we may be missing…do you have anything there you need me to get?”

Before I could reply, came a second message, “Filled the car, more than $75 which is ridiculous, perhaps we need to get a hybrid?”

And then a third, “Got the shot, off to Tranquil Buzz.”

My response, even if I could have slipped in between those three, would have been tempered by workload in the office. To the first I replied, “Cleaning? Please. Groceries? Nothing. Thanks.”

To the second I replied, “Car discussion later.”

To the third, “Have fun.”

Now, given that she had been so chatty, it might seem rude that I responded so tersely.

That was not my intent. If only there was a way to turn my responses into something she would want to read.

What I want is a phone app that uses AI to translate what I have time to say into more caring wife speak. Here’s what AI could have responded with to the first message: “I cannot believe Walgreens, where you made an appointment, are keeping you waiting. Poor you! And I am so sorry to have forgotten to mention my cleaning, so could you please drop in and see if you can pick it up, it doesn’t matter if you don’t have time. Oh, and thanks for collecting the Tractor Supply feed bags. I hope it did not inconvenience you in any way. Say Hi to your friend at the Tranquil Buzz, have a hot chocolate on me! I am so happy you and she take the time to visit. As for groceries, darling, you know best. Whatever you want would be best.”

For the second, the AI could respond with, “How terrible for you to need to spend all that money on gas. It is unfair. Perhaps we could look into buying a hybrid. Let’s discuss at home later.”

To the third, “Drive safe darling, have a great visit at the Tranquil Buzz, miss you. Love and kisses.”

And if this new app was any good it could save me the time trying to wade through long text messages and would have reduced her incoming messages: message one, “Got feed. Pick up your cleaning? Need food?”; message 2: “filled car.”; message 3: “Tranquil Buzz shortly.”

In this way, AI could act as an SMS marriage counselor, of sorts. My wife deserves happier messages. It is worth considering… Or maybe perhaps not?

 

Peter Riva, a former resident of Amenia Union, now lives in New Mexico.

Latest News

Inspiring artistic inspiration at the Art Nest in Wassaic

Left to right: Emi Night (Lead Educator), Luna Reynolds (Intern), Jill Winsby-Fein (Education Coordinator).

Natalia Zukerman

The Wassaic Art Project offers a free, weekly drop-in art class for kids aged K-12 and their families every Saturday from 12 to 5 p.m. The Art Nest, as it’s called, is a light, airy, welcoming space perched on the floor of the windy old mill building where weekly offerings in a variety of different media lead by professional artists offer children the chance for exploration and expression. Here, children of all ages and their families are invited to immerse themselves in the creative process while fostering community, igniting imaginations, and forging connections.

Emi Night began as the Lead Educator at The Art Nest in January 2024. She studied painting at Indiana University and songwriting at Goddard College in Vermont and is both a visual artist and the lead songwriter and singer in a band called Strawberry Runners.

Keep ReadingShow less
Weaving and stitching at Kent Arts Association

A detail from a fabric-crafted wall mural by Carlos Biernnay at the annual Kent Arts Association fiber arts show.

Alexander Wilburn

The Kent Arts Association, which last summer celebrated 100 years since its founding, unveiled its newest group show on Friday, May 11. Titled “Working the Angles,” the exhibition gathers the work of textile artists who have presented fiber-based quilts, landscapes, abstracts, and mural-sized illustrations. The most prominently displayed installation of fiber art takes up the majority of the association’s first floor on South Main Street.

Bridgeport-based artist Carlos Biernnay was born in Chile under the rule of the late military dictator Augusto Pinochet, but his large-scale work is imbued with fantasy instead of suffering. His mix of influences seems to include Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s popular German libretto “The Magic Flute” — specifically The Queen of the Night — as well as Lewis Carol’s “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland,” The Tudor Court, tantalizing mermaids and exotic flora.

Keep ReadingShow less
Let there be Night: How light pollution harms migrating birds
Alison Robey

If last month’s solar eclipse taught me anything, it’s that we all still love seeing cool stuff in the sky. I don’t think we realize how fast astronomical wonders are fading out of sight: studies show that our night skies grow about 10% brighter every year, and the number of visible stars plummets as a result. At this rate, someone born 18 years ago to a sky with 250 visible stars would now find only 100 remaining.

Vanishing stars may feel like just a poetic tragedy, but as I crouch over yet another dead Wood Thrush on my morning commute, the consequences of light pollution feel very real. Wincing, I snap a photo of the tawny feathers splayed around his broken neck on the asphalt.

Keep ReadingShow less