Intelligence is not Artificial

by piero scaruffi

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(These are excerpts from my book "Intelligence is not Artificial")

Bureaucracy Compounds A.I.'s Stupidity

One thing that is important to realize is that the A.I. programs or "bots" employed by the vast bureaucratic bureaucracies can be extremely stupid, in fact beyond human stupidity. I didn't know it was possible to go beyond human stupidity until we started building artificial ones.
Unfortunately, each new bot replaces a human being, which means that there is nobody to which you can explain the stupidity of the bot. For example, my Internet provider Comcast has emailed me a couple of times about a "Notification of Claimed Copyright Infringement Made under the DMCA". This is not the result of a forensic investigation by a team of human sleuths but simply an automatic message sent out by a bot. Most bots are triggered automatically when some conditions arise. We had downloaded nothing illegally but it was impossible to find out what had awakened the copyright-infringement. After fighting for ten or twenty minute with Comcast's automated customer support, we finally managed to speak with a human being. The Comcast representative graciously accepted to remove this incident from my record, but he didn't even ask me for the name of the website from which we downloaded the file. I guess they don't have the (human) staff to investigate each and every incident, so they just trust the angry customer who is willing to make a phone call and press 1-4-3-2-6-2 etc to get to speak to someone!
Having removed the physical staff that used to collect the bridge toll, and having forced all drivers to pay by phone or online, the Bay Area public-transportation system (ironally called "Fast Track") then had to face the fact that people driving a rental car would not receive the bill at home. Therefore this is what they emailed me when i asked clarification (9 September 2017): "A One-Time Payment for a rental vehicle must be created within 48 hours of the crossing to clear the toll through the One-Time Payment. If you receive notification from the rental company that means the payment was posted to the rental companies' account and you will need to contact them to resolve any subsequent issuses regarding the transaction. When contacting the rental company, please have your One-Time Payment confirmation available so they will know you attempted to pay for the toll before it posted to the rental account. Remember that if you add a rental vehicle to your FasTrak account, you must promptly remove the vehicle when you have returned it because rental vehicles may have additional tolls or violations for other drivers. Thank you, Bay Area FasTrak Customer Service Center Team. Please do not reply to this message. This is an automatically generated notification." Simple, painless, error-proof and... user-friendly, isn't it?
The problem with these incredibly stupid Artificial Intelligence programs is, of course, that there is no way to talk to them and explain how stupid they are.
"If you obey all the rules, you miss all the fun" (Katherine Hepburn)

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