The sweetness of the human-robot relationship portrayed by Her comes throughout as quaint proper now. However actually, essentially the most exceptional, startling side of rewatching Her a decade after its launch has nothing to do with the AI romance. The factor that makes it actually appear to be a fairy story when considered in 2023 isn’t that Samantha is benign. It’s that Samantha exists in a world the place a non-famous working author has an expensive way of life. The high quality of life on this future world is essentially the most preposterous factor about it.
Theodore works for an organization referred to as BeautifulHandwrittenLetters.com, the place clients pay to outsource writing notes to family members. It’s unclear precisely how standard or worthwhile the corporate is, but it surely seems to have a good-looking, spacious workplace within the downtown heart. As he has no different technique of revenue referenced, and his household doesn’t determine into the plot, there’s no indication that Theodore has inherited wealth or different income streams; he’s portrayed as an everyman, not a scion of privilege. He’s explicitly portrayed as not-a-genius; Samantha types by way of his journalistic work and politely concludes that solely a fraction is value preserving. No different literary triumphs warrant a point out. In different phrases, BeautifulHandwrittenLetters.com seems to fund his way of life.
And, shit—his way of life! Ole unhappy sack Theodore separated from his spouse and is paying for a divorce lawyer, however he’s in a position to afford a luxurious condo in a skyscraper, with home windows stretching from gleaming ground to excessive ceiling, overlooking the twinkly metropolis lights. (It needs to be unlawful to mope round a lot in case your condo has views like that.) He by no means mentions cash woes. Quite the opposite, he spends freely, shopping for a top-of-the-line, brand-new working system, consuming at upscale eating places, donning garments good sufficient that his coworkers touch upon their high quality. What’s the fee fee on these tearjerker letters, precisely? Plus, he even owns the mental property to the missives he produces on the job, since he’s in a position to bundle them and get a ebook deal towards the top of the movie with out consulting his employer. Speak about want achievement!
The longer term Los Angeles Her reveals is notable for a way nice all the pieces seems to be, how snug persons are. Sure, there’s smog. However there’s additionally glorious public transit and apparently plentiful housing. The abrupt introduction of AGI into the world considerations some characters about whether or not it’s emotionally wholesome thus far the software program, but it surely doesn’t generate any wider backlash. There’s no future shock, no social convulsions. There’s simply arguments between people. The one conflicts are private. (It’s truly very humorous that Theodore owns an AGI and the one factor he does with it’s date it.) Samantha and her ilk would possibly steal your lady, however they’re not considering supplanting people elsewhere.
It’s a imaginative and prescient of the long run that isn’t absent of tech critique—Jonze reveals his characters isolating themselves in favor of screentime—however one which assumes the typical American of the long run may have a fancier life than folks do now. Folks may be cooped up indoors arguing with holographic video video games as an alternative of constructing human connections, however they’re doing so in fashion. Financial progress is assumed.