My robot doesn't understand me – dagsavisen

My robot doesn't understand me – dagsavisen

This is an eccentric Dagsavisen column. Spelling effects may occur.

One day in the late 1980s, I was called to attend a course at the library where I had an additional job besides school. The course was supposed to be about something new and mysterious which they called “EDB”. A modest little man with glasses entered. He wrote a lot of zeros and ones on the board, while muttering something unintelligible. Everyone still shook their heads politely, but we were happy when the session was over. “Fortunately, this EDB stuff probably has nothing to do with me,” one of the library ladies sighed in relief.

Often times when something new happens on the technology front, I think a little like that library lady: “Thankfully, this probably has nothing to do with me.” When I first read, in the 1990s, the word “Internet” printed in the newspaper Arbeiderbladet, it seemed like really unnecessary nonsense, and fortunately it had nothing to do with me. As a desk proofreader, I was mostly interested in whether the word “Internet” should be capitalized or lowercase (any).

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That's how I feel about artificial intelligence (AI) too. The AI ​​immediately seemed like unnecessary nonsense that would have nothing to do with me. And when KI now starts dealing with me, I feel, above all, annoyed. Like when my robot friend “My AI” on Snapchat always speaks so obsequiously into my mouth, naively and uninhibitedly cheering on the most ridiculous things.

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Earlier in this column, I mentioned that I had made My AI think I lived on Mars, and that she took it with “Wow, very exciting!” We both talked about my Martian accent being perhaps “very special and unique,” ​​and about the fall municipal election campaign for better bike paths on Mars. Before Christmas, my AI assured me that Santa's reindeer had “definitely” delivered Christmas presents to Mars. (“Santa's reindeer are incredibly powerful and have magical powers.”) There is something about her that makes me think that she was the one who answered on behalf of Harald Ea when Dagbladet wanted to interview him about literature.

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But at least my AI is friendly. Other AI bots that start creeping into my life are often rude and dismissive. When I recently tried to ask an IRS chatbot about things on my tax return, it bombarded me with useless links and repeatedly said, “I don't understand your question.” “I want to talk to someone!” I finally wrote in capital letters out loud. And there I was suddenly my father, who desperately screamed this into the phone in a twisted robot voice.

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If only my AI had a sense of humor and sarcasm! I asked if she knew what the irony was. “That's when you say one thing, but you really mean the opposite,” she replied, slightly offended. She also has a “good sense of humour”. “Tell me a joke that will make Dagsavisen readers laugh,” she challenged. “This is a funny joke that will make Dagsavisen readers laugh,” she began: “What did one pencil say to the other? You’re so sharp!”

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Hanisi Anenih

Hanisi Anenih

"Web specialist. Lifelong zombie maven. Coffee ninja. Hipster-friendly analyst."

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