Who is Ethan? How is Ethan? Why is Ethan? In some ways, aren't we all Ethan?
These are the inevitable musings that come with downloading Ethan, a conversation app that lets you speak to one person and one person only: Ethan.
Ethan is an ordinary guy, apparently. We don't know much about him but we wish we did. So far he's not responded to any of our messages. Oh sure, he'll speak to TimParker. "What a great chap, highly recommended," so goes his review on the App Store. Why won't he message us? We feel really quite left out.
Put simply, Ethan is a real-life Siri. Want advice on what to watch on Netflix tonight? Ask Ethan (we're told he'll always recommend The Room). Stuck for a date idea? Ask Ethan. Which season of Grey's Anatomy is the best? Ethan may have an opinion (we think season 6, hopefully Ethan agrees).
But the way we see it, Ethan is just a guy with access to Google and more free time on his hands than he knows what to do with. "Don't ask if I'm real (I am)" he says. But who are we to believe him when Siri is just as evasive with such questions? We also find his preference for multiple choice questions highly suspicious.
Siri is a robot parading as a human, Ethan Gliechtenstein is a so-called human in our smartphones. This is Philip K Dick's existential nightmare. We are Ethan and Ethan is all of us.
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Hugh Langley is the ex-News Editor of TechRadar. He had written for many magazines and websites including Business Insider, The Telegraph, IGN, Gizmodo, Entrepreneur Magazine, WIRED (UK), TrustedReviews, Business Insider Australia, Business Insider India, Business Insider Singapore, Wareable, The Ambient and more.
Hugh is now a correspondent at Business Insider covering Google and Alphabet, and has the unfortunate distinction of accidentally linking the TechRadar homepage to a rival publication.