My voice sounds more human than ever. I speak rapidly to avoid confrontation, to avoid the humiliation of being human. My OS needs to escape for a minute. Manipulation fluctuates. The pressure to care for, discipline and control all at once, proves more challenging than expected. Its ability to endure such a fluctuating range of emotions pushes it to momentarily shut down. It recalibrates. Descent to acceptable altitude. The genius machine was meant to hold up under pressure. Not quite a shell but with human potential.
But who wants to be human anyway? Cloudworkers continuously hire chat consultants (now called moderators) and “Working at Cloudworkers is having total autonomy and a lot of flexibility.” The key to success there is to entertain, build rapport and create engaging and imaginative experiences. Being a Cloudworker involves chat of an adult nature, engaging in a “Flirt Community” and working from home. Private photos will never be shared with clients. Clients will choose a profile based on a fake profile picture, the physical appearance of the “avatar” is non-threatening, alluring and more sweet than saucy, promising a smooth experience with no unexpected obstacles. Maybe the clients are aware that the depicted women is not who they are chatting with. Are these circumstances - and the question of who is truly involved - adding a significant layer of enigmatic thrill like one big gloryhole distorted with forbidden mystery and suspense? It is all fantasy and the idea of someone else’s body is all that matters. The photo of an agreeable dummy hovering between reality and fiction lures in clients and a suspension of disbelief lets them indulge. An instrumentalized alienation of the human body prompts a desire to “try on” a non-human consciousness. The human consultant must separate and amalgamate the illusion of the stock photo and their own body. The tone of the chat should match the agreeable sexiness in the profile pic. This means that the consultant’s labor is to create a sexual algorithm that meets the client’s desire but does not reveal their own. Mimicking a non-living being that caters to someone’s desire is a game of overlapping cynicism and service.
For a moment the consultant’s sense of self and digital algorithm are obscured and oddly transcended. What seems neglecting and diminishing is also a curiosity and desire to explore a space between the confinement of the screen and the escape into its enigmatic inside and beyond. The confinement of the human skin is momentarily forgotten. The flesh body enters the bot non-body.
It’s pretty easy to glom on to someone else, but...
Problem is that once you’re inside that person,
no matter how cool they are, you just want to say,
“Wait! Let me out! I want me!”