Artificial Intelligence.

They say that artificial intelligence is no match for natural stupidity, but I’m beginning to wonder.  I have an additional monthly fee on my Verizon cellphone bill that allows me to make international calls (for a costly per-minute fee) and with rearrangement of new technologies, I no longer need it.  So I went on the website to cancel it.  Could find how with a couple questions to the FAQ bot, so I clicked for a Chat person, thinking I was going to get a human.  I didn’t.  At first I wasn’t perturbed by this, but a couple lines in…..  this is the transcript of the conversation.  I’m the voice in blue.  Verizonrobot

It gave me one answer four times and another twice before it finally realized it was out of its depth.  By then my session had timed out in the other window and I was connected to a black hole.  I followed a different track later to get to a real human, by which time I didn’t really care if helpdesk was being outsourced to Alpha Centauri, it was a sentient being…..

 

 

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Headed east to Tempe

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I’m going to be back in Tempe for the Tempe Festival of the Arts – a three-day show this weekend.  The show is mostly on Mill Street just north of University Ave, but I will be on 6th Street, booth 6020.

I hope you’ll stop by if you’re in the Phoenix area – or let your friends there know about the show.

 

Sonnet Challenge #6.

This challenge is another one from Pia in Denmark.  “Current events with a humorous twist.”  I wrote it as things start to get a little heated in North Korea, US has closed two Russian embassies after US embassy staff was reduced in Russia, who are about to conduct battle practices, Syria has become so much of a bar fight I’ve stopped trying to follow who’s fighting whom, and Vladimir Putin and Elon Musk are both predicting world war III will be done by artificial intelligence.  Oy vey and that’s just the stuff I’m paying attention to.

The reference to grayness, by the way is for the dissolution of the tidy black and white of the chess board.  When I wrote this sonnet, I initially did this on paper.  When I went to type it up, I typoed the original ‘Boys will be boys’ and I think it’s one of life’s better typos…..

I’m hoping that the sense of humor that I’ve used doesn’t mean I need to seek political asylum on Alpha Centauri.  (Anyone have the phone # for their embassy just in case?)

Chess
The board of international politics

is getting so much grayer than before.

The pawn, castle and king – war or not war?

What difference does this make to us mere hicks?

We hate our neighbors, but we need to trade,

and then won’t trade because we don’t approve

of how they live and hate.  Our knights outmove

and bishops all expelled, and weapons made

for what? Fists are not how you make a friend!

Boys will be bots, and this is getting dumb!

Is this the “sense” we will base AI on –

the hope and fear that this whole thing will end?

The politics these days are such a mess,

I wish they’d settle it with a game of chess.