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I've been reading that Congress is going to take up AI regulation. Frankly, I'd be more comfortable if AI regulated Congress, under the theory that if you put artificial intelligence and Congress in a room, there would be only one source of intelligence and it's not the kind typically found in humans.

Fears of AI are unfounded, based on my own admittedly limited experience. Recently there was a questionable charge on my credit card bill. I called the toll free number and was promptly routed to a machine that asked many questions "to be better able to serve" me, which called to mind the old Twilight Zone episode about the aliens with the book "How to Serve Man" (spoiler alert--it was a cook book).

In any event, after the machine repeatedly told me it didn't understand the problem and my yelling at it that it was just a stupid machine, I had to revert to human assistance. This took quite some time, because the MACHINE could not easily redirect my call. At least I'm assuming the person I eventually talked to was from a human call center, unless the robots have all adopted accents from the Indian subcontinent. The person in 30 seconds resolved what the robot could not in 300.

There are other episodes, but I'll spare you. Suffice it to say, an artificial mind will not replace good old Yankee ingenuity. Remember when the Apollo XIII disaster occurred? The space team (all human; AI had not been invented yet) had to devise all sorts of makeshift work arounds, like using cardboard boxes and duct tape to design an air filter. Is there any doubt if it happened today, the computers would tell NASA, "There's nothing we can do; prepare the memorial service."

So take that, my robot friends! Rather than fretting about AI, I'll spend my time worrying about all the humans who've lost the power of creative thought.


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