Artificial Intelligence

AI is supposed to scare us. Recall HAL in 2001 A Space Odyssey. A supercomputer takes over a space ship and kills the crew. We don’t need HAL for that we have Facebook and Twitter.

Teenagers get bullied on Facebook to the extreme where thoughts of suicide replace the few Likes they may have received.

Haters spew hateful tweets on Twitter and through it all, you don’t know if what you are reading is real.

Talk about social media.

Nothing at all social about it.

In my career in education, I have had the misfortune to be involved in three separate implementations of automated student information systems.

The first took us two years before it was running nearly as well as the “archaic” system it replaced. Then we were told we had to upgrade the system.

The tech rep told us that the upgrade from version 13, which we finally had running, was no big deal as version 17 was basically 13 without the bugs! She actually said that. I replied that I don’t remember you telling us that when we were tearing our hair out implementing 13.

Subsequent implementations were equally as challenging. For the second implementation at another school, the tech rep said that the rollout of the Admissions module was the best they had ever seen. I suppose in the other schools not getting out offers of admissions for two weeks would have seemed grand.

I remember thinking at these times that we would consider this the Dark Age Of Information Technology.

These were the days before Facebook and Twitter.

Like many computer systems, there are bugs in Facebook and Twitter. There are human bugs. The technology is fine but it is the users that we have to fear.

Remember GIGO?

Garbage In Garbage Out.

An admonition to programmers to get their code right. Also, useful guidance to anyone responsible for entering data into a computer system.

Facebook and Twitter users should be so advised.

I have gotten to the point that I hardly visit Facebook and I have been off Twitter for a week or more. This post may appear on both but that is because it is set automatically to do so.

When posts and tweets are no more reliable or even as entertaining as spam emails, what’s the point in checking in every five minutes?

It’s a shame that Facebook and Twitter fell victim to trolls and spies and just plain nasty people.

Now, I am perfectly aware that some might find this post offensive and disagreeable. As in the case of offensive TV, please feel free to change the channel and, like me, block anyone you no longer wish to view on your page.

That’s probably the most empowering feature of modern technology.

The Joy Of Pulling The Plug.

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