Every time I open the paper there is a discussion on how artificial intelligence (A.I.) can now emulate human behaviours and affect people’s lives. I often find myself pondering something that challenges this: What is it that makes us human, and could never be lost to a robot?
The human sentiment attached to memories
For me the obvious answer is the ability to have memories and experience sentimentality. Sentimentality is about the emotions attached to an item or object which may have no relevance or meaning to one person, but will hold significant sentimental value to another person (even if it’s the same item!). One person finds the object meaningless yet the other person may feel lost without it: such is the power of sentiment.
Preserving a memory through a watch
Now, before I start getting chastised as a hoarder, let me explain. Imagine if you received a watch from someone significant in your life. It might be for a graduation, birthday, anniversary or some other life milestone. Suddenly, what was seemingly “Just a watch” 10 seconds ago is now far more valuable. It’s now part of your personal human history and it’s exclusively yours. The simple gesture of receiving a gift has captured a moment of time that’s preserved forever, all within the simple object of a watch. It will also forever link you to a person, people, place or organisation.
A powerful gift
After producing watches for 48 years in Australia I’ve come to realise how powerful the gift of a watch is. That said, we feel there would be no point to create a beautiful watch which captures a significant moment if that watch isn’t going to stand the test of time. That’s why the entire Adina collection has been created with a long future in mind. I often bump into someone who is wearing one of our watches and have the most wonderful conversation about their life: all stemming from a simple question about their watch.
That motivates us to keep striving to produce the highest quality watches we possibly can. Because a watch can evoke such special memories of the people and places we hold dear in our life, we have a responsibility to produce quality watches that will last.
Future vs Past
A.I. is definitely the future, but as people we have the ability to create attachments to the past. The gift of an Adina watch can do exactly that, through the very human trait of being sentimental.