The Real Skinny on Artificial Intelligence

Written By: Jackie Weger - May• 10•18

New Contraptions. Old Brain.

No, I wasn’t born under a rock, but I was born during the Depression which means I am not a Millennial. My kids aren’t even Millennials. What I am is O.L.D. and I’m trying to grasp artificial intelligence. An online dictionary says AI is a noun: the theory and development of computer systems able to perform tasks that normally require human intelligence, such as visual perception, speech recognition, decision-making, and translation between languages. Also, AI can drive cars–which I’m not allowed to do, so that piqued my interest.

I have coped with artificial intelligence all of my life. Back in the day we called AI lies, gossip, deceit, deflection and sneaky. I can tell you my kids perfected AI:

Me: Who broke the handle off the fridge? Them: “Not me. I wasn’t home.”

Me: I told you to be home by nine p.m. Them: “We got lost.” Me: From three blocks away?

If artificial intelligence is so great, why can’t a man design a parking lot that isn’t a maze or navigational hazard? Ever notice the bigger the vehicles, the skinnier the parking slot?

What does speech recognition mean? Nobody answers a question Yes or No. It’s yeah, nah or donno.  People start sentences in the middle of a thought or wrap a conversation you had two months earlier as in: Man: “Okay, I’m taking him.” Me: Taking who, where? Man: “The dog to the groomer.”

Let me tell you about visual perception: Me, trying to wade through a debris field of shoes, smelly socks, discarded clothes and week-old food scraps: Clean your room. Them: I did clean it. Me: I’m not talking about last year.

I really don’t want to get into artificial decision-making because that gets us into deep trouble as in $$$ problems or using condoms and safe sex.  I’m wondering if common sense is going the way of Halo Shampoo, tins of Colgate Tooth powder and Octagon Soap, all of which I once loved and miss.

On my watch, I’m not giving up on common sense for artificial intelligence. If I want lights on, I have to flip a switch. If I want my computer to run, or watch TV,  I have to plug the things in. My iPhone, air pods and eReaders have to be charged or they’re useless.  When hurricanes, floods, storms and tornadoes come through my neck of the woods every single bit of artificial intelligence is zapped from Internet, working cash registers and ATM machines. I manage just fine because I have an old camp stove, a real honest-to-goodness old-fashioned percolator and mad money, as in cash, stuffed in a sock for emergencies. That’s what I call common sense decision-making.

There is this: I am keeping up with the development of self-driving cars, since my pet car went to the crushers to keep me off the road. Adding for good measure: Artificial intelligence did not create Velcro. George de Mestral did in the early fifties and saved Mothers from having to spend hours teaching our kids how to tie shoe laces. Nor did AI invent the fitted bed sheet. Bertha Berman did. Before Bertha got her brainstorm, we had to pin the bottom sheet to the mattress to keep them in place. Just letting you know artificial intelligence can’t do everything.

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I’m @Jackie Weger. When the notion appeals, I write sweet, old-fashioned romance novels full of wit, grit and humor. Print editions are just the thing for Mother’s Day gifts. Order from Amazon, gift wrapping available for a small fee.

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  1. Robyn M Ryan says:

    Love this, Jackie! I do prefer your brand of common sense over AI ~ good chuckle for the day!! My hubs would put me in a AI car if he could — and if they stop running over pedestrians!

  2. Alexa Dare says:

    Love this! I can so relate!

  3. Melanie Cravens says:

    Had a lightbulb moment about halfway through. The “not me” comment triggered it. The next pet we get will be named “Not me!” so the next time someone says “not me” I will have a physical entity to look at while I chew everybody out. I just don’t have the lack of heart to name ANY creature “nobody”, as in “nobody did it”.

  4. Yes, that’s what I told someone the other day — Who needs artificial intelligence when you’ve got the real sort!

  5. jhines340 says:

    Thanks for making me smile!

  6. G G Collins says:

    When AI goes out, thank goodness there are a few of us who can think for ourselves!

  7. Lol! I’ll go for good old traditional intelligence any day of the week 🙂

  8. Lady Peña says:

    Cars will be driving us around soon- that’s Crazy! I’m up for that. LOVE the article, made me laugh!! There’s nothing like your style of good old fashioned wisdom.

  9. Linda Lee says:

    Made me chuckle, Jackie. Thank you. 🙂

  10. Traci Hall says:

    Common sense! I vote yes!!

  11. LOL You made me laugh. Well done.

  12. dalefurse says:

    I needed a chuckle today and am still smiling. Thanks, Jackie. 🙂

  13. Thanks for brightening the day with your no-nonsense practicality and humor, jackie.

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