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"One of the great tragedies of mankind is that morality has been hijacked by religion. So now people assume that religion and morality have a necessary connection."
- Arthur C. Clarke

Daily Schedule (DS)  
  The DS was an artificially intelligent day planner, a schedule keeper with voice recognition features; it also talked back when necessary.  

There is an exchange that runs over several pages in the novel, giving an interesting glimpse of what this technology holds in store for the rest of us in years to come. Interestingly, Herbert uses a machine to cause his character to introspect.

The Daily Schedule began playing to McKie as he emerged from the bath. The DS suited its tone to his movements and the combined analysis of his psychophysical condition.

"Good morning, ser," it fluted.

McKie, who could interpret the analysis of his mood from the DS tone, put down a flash of resentment. Of course he felt angry and concerned.

"Good morning, you dumb inanimate object," he growled... He'd been meaning to for some time to reprogram the damned thing. No matter how carefully you set them, they always got out of phase. He didn't bother to bridle his mood, merely spoke the words in full emotional spate: "Now you hear me, machine: don't you ever again choose that buddy-buddy conversational tone when I'm in this mood!"

"Your admonition recorded and new program instituted, ser." The DS adopted a brisk, matter of fact tone as it continued...

From The Dosadi Experiment, by Frank Herbert.
Published by Berkley Putnam in 1977
Additional resources -

Personally, I'm not sure that I want to have a day planner built into my house - especially if I have to argue with it!

The device did more than just play back appointments:

In McKie's thoughts, the DS [Daily Schedule] was suddenly transformed into a valued confidante.

As though it knew his thoughts, the DS said:

"I'm still a machine. You are inefficient, but as you have correctly stated you have ways at arriving at accuracy which machines do not understand. We can only... guess, and we are not really programmed to guess unless specifically ordered to do so on a given occasion. Trust yourself."

"But you'd rather I were not killed?"

"That is my program."

"Do you have any more helpful suggestions?"

"You would be advised to waste as little time as possible here. There was a tone of urgency in BIldoon's voice."

McKie stared at the nearest voder...

"Are you sure he sounded urgent?"

"He spoke rapidly and with obvious tensions."

"Truthful?"

"The tone-spikes lead to that conclusion."

Its voder is described as "fluting" its responses; it is interesting to compare this kind of voice (like a woodwind instrument, as opposed to a digital reproduction) to a similar device in Neuromancer (see the Talking Head), by William Gibson.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from The Dosadi Experiment
  More Ideas and Technology by Frank Herbert
  Tech news articles related to The Dosadi Experiment
  Tech news articles related to works by Frank Herbert

Daily Schedule (DS)-related news articles:
  - Mr. T Pities The Fool Who Won't Turn Left
  - Mood Recognition Technology: Pivo 2 Driver Experience Enhanced
  - Robo-Rucksack: Six-Year-Old Designs Talking 'Smart Backpack'
  - Voice Interactive Alarm Clock By Moshi
  - Timeful Appointment App Learns, Optimizes Your Routines
  - x.ai And The Quest For A Digital Personal Assistant
  - Evorus Your Crowd-Powered Conversational Assistant

Articles related to Artificial Intelligence
Watch 'Do You Trust This Computer' For Free Today
EA Created AI That Taught Itself To Play Battlefield
AI Tool Lynx Insight And The Cybernetic Newsroom
Evorus Your Crowd-Powered Conversational Assistant

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