Honeycrisp Incorporated has recently revealed its revolutionary product that reads the minds of its users to determine what television programming they will most enjoy and will change the channel to such shows. To some, this might appear to be an interesting novelty. To the particularly lazy, this might be a godsend.
Unfortunately, it could lead to the death of television as we know it.
We are currently living in an era of incredible blockbuster television. Shows like Breaking Bad, and Game of Thrones have gained unprecedented levels of popularity. Television is quickly becoming the storytelling medium of choice in popular culture. Even non-television shows such as Netflix’s Orange is the New Black are doing quite well.
Honeycrisp’s new product will unwittingly lead to the demise of all of that. By automatically determining what people should watch, many people will be unable to watch large chunks of television simply because the machine determined that they would not enjoy it. People would grow complacent, as they would not be able to view things that challenge them or present a viewpoint different from their own.
If the use of Honeycrisp’s product becomes widespread, or worse, standardized, the high-quality shows that we have come to enjoy will cease to exist. The audiences of these shows will become fractured, large chunks of them forced to watch other things. In order to bring in more viewers, television producers will end up producing shows that will appeal to the largest possible amount of people in order to bring in money. Shows will become overly generic and homogenized, as shows that are too unique simply won’t be able to make money.
What would the future of television look like? Since companies would begin to produce things for the largest possible audience, it would only make sense to look at the most-watched show for the 2013-2014 season. What show tops the charts? What show would set the basis for all television if Honeycrisp were to have their way?
The Big Bang Theory.
That’s right. Television would become incredibly bloated with poorly-written, repetitive sitcoms containing very little creativity. It would devolve into lazily written jokes consisting of references to mainstream media followed by an inane, near-constant laugh track. Is that what we want?
No, it’s not. That is why we cannot allow Honeycrisp’s product to become the standard.