Yesterday, I received an email about Sippd, “the newest AI-powered wine tool changing how millennial wine buyers and novice wine lovers alike find and order their vino!” I do not believe that I, the sober woman who regularly contributes to The Takeout’s Robot Beat, am the target demographic for this press release. Nevertheless, it’s important to learn as much as possible about our future oppressors, because if any of our readers were harmed by a sentient Smart Fridge, I’d never be able to forgive myself. (Coincidentally, I also happen to be rewatching Person of Interest, the brilliant techno-dystopian series that demonstrates why A.I. is terrifying. Highly recommend!)
The reason I received a press release about this A.I.-powered wine shopping browser extension remains unknown. Perhaps this allegedly fun and friendly application of artificial intelligence is meant to pacify me, and lead me to embrace machine learning in my everyday life? Is this free Chrome extension really looking to identify my “Taste Matches” and recommend the perfect bottle of wine, or is it collecting data on my preferences in order to replicate my sense of taste so it can eliminate and replace me without anyone noticing? Though these possibilities are remote—and although I probably ended up on Sippd’s mailing list for entirely legitimate reasons—I remain vigilant.
I was eventually led to a sleek promotional video demonstrating how the extension works. It’s full of hip, sexy people having the sort of fun that well-chosen wine promises to deliver, as well as hypnotic sequences of floating wine bottles that made me so calm that I came thisclose to dropping my guard entirely.
If you’re curious about the Sippd app, you can install it here. If you eventually befriend it, please put in a good word for me.