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The dawn of the rise of the machines has come - and we did not notice

Many science fiction writers of both book and movies have written about the dawn of the rise of the machines or robots or something. I believe it has come and gone and we have not even noticed it.

Over three years ago Popular Mechanics asked if google had made us stupid, I think the question was valid but did not scratch the surface. Google has not made us stupid some computer analysis that dictates how software makes decisions has. Almost all of us are more and more dependent on computer systems in our daily lives, and we do not even notice it.

Computer systems decide how we drive our car, decide how to control the traffic, decide how our orders for food are presented to another human and they also decide if we can spend our money to purchase it. We are restricted by visiting friends and colleagues by computer systems that ask for ID and want proof of our existence before we are allowed through boom gates and are given access to the precious places people live.

And on a non daily basis we are affected by other computer systems, that decide when we must pay tax, when we can have our money that we deposited via a computer system, what requirements need to be in place for us to order from suppliers, and what requirements need to be in place for us to supply clients.

And we are also affected by these computer systems when we go out of our daily lives and say travel. Some system decides what we need to travel, what paper work needs to be supplied, and if we are allowed to travel. And if the computer says it then it is gospel, no exceptions no mater how much alternative proof you can povide.

On a national level what is happening there? Are computer systems in place to decide if the big red button should be pressed or is it a human making decision? Are there statistics making day to day decisions about our lives that we have no control over? Drones scour the skies of countries and make decisions based on "so called" intelligence. Computers have been programmed to scan communications to determine if there is a threat, and then make a decision who can see what we send via the communication we have sent. (See john oliiver who can see your dick picks -

So what are these computer systems? Well they are actually normally a best effort by humans to determine the typical rules that apply to a situation. Logic based on rules like: if A then B. No room for if C then B or of A than D. these are not allowed. These exceptions that a human being would allow are not allowed any more.

And we cannot argue with these systems anymore. Less than a decade ago asking to see a supervisor would result in action now you are just treated with sorry sir the computer says that you need this or that. There is no awareness that computers do not say anything. People tell the computer to say things.

The problem is that when a person tells another person something only 15% of the understanding is achieved from the words, the other 85% is tone, facial expressions and demeanour. And computers are not able to express these.

We are passed the dawn of the rise of the machines, we are living in it. The power of the person behind the counter or on the other end of the phone has gone, they are not empowered to make decisions, and I am not sure they want to. So what if one client they are serving cannot have what they want, the computer system said so.

The question I have is will we break out of this are we able to give the power back to the person behind the keyboard? Are there any computer system analysts out there that are able to conceive that they do not know all the A's, B's and C's never mind Z's of a situation. We do not have computer systems that are clever enough to think for themselves, but we have not given the people using them the power to think for themselves either. So that means that the computer system needs a rethink. However I cannot see how this is going to happen, unless something dramatic is done in training the people with the real power the computer analysts and programmers.

Is it not time for the universities and the schools to sit up and take notice that we are living in a world we normal is the only accepted way. We have to put the power back in to the hand of those with real world experience people that really know the facts, all the facts not just the ones that the computer analyst was able to pry from them when they did their analysis.

Either that or accept that we are living in the age of machines, where decisions that are made by analysts are the only decision that ever get considered.

Entering bug reports about bad decisions after the fact only helps once the horse has bolted, and been shot by a deer hunter whose rifle decided if it is brown and has a tail it must be a buck, the horse is dead, the bug report will not help the horse now.


Anonymous said…
The heading states quite emphatically "Who gives a ....Anyway?" So there you have it! No sweat! Why would you want an opinion when you've already said this.
An interesting take on how humans are using the computer as an excuse for not taking decisions. No one cares anymore. No service minded individuals, No work ethic.

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