Matthew McKeown
5 min readApr 5, 2021


Soul in the Machine

People think I’m weird for naming my vehicles. When I was 15, I got my first truck, a 1995 Dodge Dakota. Being a teenage boy who discovered the film Pulp Fiction, I named the truck Jules. There was no particular reason for the name, other than I liked the character in the movie. After the Dakota died, my next vehicle was a 1998 Ford Explorer. Another wrench turner, I never anticipated it to last anywhere near as long as it did. I named her “Fat Man” after the atomic bomb dropped on Nagasaki. My 2003 Dodge Dakota was named Rosalita after my favorite Bruce Springsteen song, my 1960 Studebaker Lark Wagon is named Layla after the Derek and the Dominoes song, after all, she’s “got me on my knees”. I don’t say I’m going to take the Norton out, I always say I’m going to take Aurora out.

Aurora (1970 Norton 750 Commando), Abra (1992 Honda Shadow VT1100C), and Layla (1960 Studebaker Lark VI Wagon)

Those who know me, know what I’m saying when I personify my vehicles. When someone asks me why I name them, I tell them that they each have their own personalities. Hailey could be temperamental. Before I swapped the engine out, she would die without notice and I’d be on the side of the road fiddling with the carb or splicing wires. Loki, my Focus decides to croak in the worst ways at the worst times. There have been instances when I’d have to drive the 60-year-old Layla over to fix something on the 20-year-old Loki.

Hailey and me 2013

When A.I. or Artificial Intelligence is mentioned, sci-fi thrillers come to mind. A machine sent back in time to murder someone to prevent a human resistance in the future, androids needing to be retired because they became self-aware and realized they are servants, computers learning on their own and deciding what’s best for everyone and everything.

A.I. is not the scary robot trying to kill you, artificial intelligence is used every second in everyday life. Why do you think we’re all addicted to our phones? How do you think self-driving cars exist? A.I. is not a new concept, and it’s not a scary one either. We rely on A.I. in today’s technologically automated world. Yet, what is scary is the idea of the…