For our prompt of “Dogs” today, I made a little sketch of my own pup Elliott. Yesterday was a holiday and my mom and sister came for a visit. We spent the afternoon outside, enjoying a bit of peach cobbler and ice cream, while Elliott was lounging on his outdoor cot next to us. The weather was sunny, yet perfectly mild and it was a moment that I suddenly never wanted to end. Looking over at Elliott, I think he felt the same way. As he continues to get older, he’s just 18 months old now, I see little changes each and every day. It’s fun to watch him discover new bits of the world and new ways to react to those bits as he goes along. Though we don’t speak the same language, he’s still figured out ways to communicate quite clearly. Whether it’s a head nod to let us know he wants a bit more water, or the very audible sounds he makes that resemble a groaning child saying, “Ugh! Why? Why can’t I do that? You’re ruining my life!” That last one is followed by a very dramatic collapse on the floor and more groans of displeasure, usually with one eye and one of those impossibly asymmetric ears turning in my direction for added effect. It’s totally adorable.

As tends to happen in our house, Philippe and I started discussing artificial intelligence and how that might relate to dogs. The domestication of animals is really not that dissimilar to a human reliance on machine intelligence. I was born around the same time as commercially produced portable calculators were made available. I’m rather sure this is why I wasn’t particularly interested in learning a lot of math. It seemed, even at that time, that basic math would rapidly become a rather unnecessary skill with all the advancements in technology. Now, I’m truly hoping that artificial intelligence doesn’t cause humans to give up on creativity. With all the recent advancements in machine intelligence just within the last few months, it does seem a bit worrisome to consider future impact on humans. This really got me thinking that machines have made us dumber in the same way domesticated dogs have evolved to have a smaller brain than their wolf cousins. Now, they say human brains are about four ping pong balls smaller in size than our ancestors. Unsurprisingly, humans were not at all bothered by this unsettling bit of evolution. Dogs, however, worrying for their own survival, have sworn they’ll fetch those missing balls and happily return them to us.

As machines are able to do more things for us, humans will indeed continue to submit to them. And the older and more exhausted I become each day, the more appeal I can actually see in that. Yet, as I was spending a lazy afternoon with my dog, I realized what I loved most about that particular moment was the complete absence of machines. It was just a bit of cobbler and family, which is so impossibly human and beautifully mundane that I was entirely absorbed in the moment. Elliott caught my eye while he was basking in the sun and nodded his head in solemn agreement. Well, at least, that’s what I imagined in my own head. Then, he closed his eyes and within minutes I could see his foot twitching and hear the quiet grumbles that he makes when he’s fast asleep and dreaming. Rest up, little buddy, there’s a big world out there and new things to discover each and every day. But, no matter how exciting it all may seem in the moment, never forget that there’s really nothing more satisfying and enjoyable than a lazy afternoon.

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16 thoughts on “Lazy Afternoon

  1. Elliott is totally adorable and those eyes are beautiful!!! The advances in AI recently have been amazing and it certainly does make one wonder what the future will be like. AI seems like such a foreign idea right now ( becoming less foreign every day) but future generations will be brought up on AI. I can’t imagine a future without pens, pencils, paints and brushes and human contact. Glad you were able to spend time with family this weekend…those are always the best of times!

    Sparkling Heart
    • sandra-strait
  2. Since the interwebs became the ‘thing’ there have been times when you had to purchase minutes or were only allowed a certain amount of time online for various reasons. That would probably drive me insane now — but I can’t help thinking that it might actually be a benefit for us. With limited time, we could still enjoy the benefits but possibly avoid some of the downside!

  3. I’m not worried about AI. There is a certain unique problem solving the human brain can do that will never be replaced. Machines can work faster but they can’t produce an output if they don’t have input and humans can connect the oddest bits of trivia and info to come to a conclusion. In school it’s called “gifted”. Machines will never be able to reliable produce abstract logic. They will always be “average”, just faster at it. AI will never produce that new recipe with unique ingredients you never thought would go together but surprisingly they do. Because machines can’t taste and if it has never been done they would not have the input to indicate the combination. AI would be for “most likely” not something that’s never been done.

    I love these bits about Elliot. I love dogs and their uniqueness. Ramses had those semaphore ears too. I love to hear their signs and groans and moans and whimpers and whatever signs they use for joy or displeasure. Diana with her “binky ball” and Freyja who is always happy and positive and loving life. I love the sighs of contentment when they settle and the lip-smacking.

    1. Glad you enjoyed this! 😃💕 Elliott is quite the character and dogs are just such fun companions to have! As for AI… I agree… it won’t ever be able to truly replace the human brain. I only hope humans keep that high standard and will always be able to spot the difference and still care about that difference in the future! 😉

  4. Hello Charlie,

    Elliott looks adorable and that expression is precious!❤ And being technologically challenged, I find AI quite overwhelming. The future sometimes seems scary. But then you’re right, family and ice cream and peach cobbler make for excellent calming down. Now I want some peach cobbler. Tinned peaches were my favorite treat as a kid and it’s been almost 3 decades since I’ve had those. But I will get fresh peaches in a couple of months, so will enjoy those. 😊


    1. Thanks so much, Mugdha! 😃💕 Yeah… the new tech makes the future a bit questionable, but I figure as long as there’s peach cobbler and love, we’ll be okay! You definitely need some peach cobbler… it’s soooo good! I wanted gooseberry cobbler, but they only sell it in cans at one store here and my mom requested them as she can’t get them where she lives. So I gave her all 6 cans! hehe Much love to you! ❤️

  5. Elliot is a cutie! I enjoyed reading this Charlie. Thank you! I’m not too worried about Ai. Our relationship with it will evolve over time and its impact will depend on how we integrate it into our creative processes. I think of it as a tool like any other. It will help us to be more efficient. It will help us to generate new ideas and it will provide inspiration. It will give us more time to focus on higher level creative thinking and maybe it will give us more time to really enjoy and appreciate those special quiet moments that we all crave.

    1. Thanks so much, Louise! 😃💕 Here’s to hoping! I think if AI is embraced as a bonus, it’s great, but I do worry people will use it too much rather than exercise their lovely brains! lol Here’s to enjoying those special quiet moments!

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